We attended the town hall meeting in Tillamook on Saturday with Senator Jeff Merkley, and saw firsthand the same tactics. People armed with clipboards and reading from their "talking points memos" filled the hall, kept their hands in the air so no one else could be called on, stood up and/or shouted out if they weren’t called on, and in general monopolized the meeting. Some of them were probably local, but some were not. From what I’ve seen on video of other similar meetings, ours was rather subdued.
– Judith Allen of Tillamook
This August’s congressional recess is a hot political opportunity.
The teabaggers of the Right know it – and they are ORGANIZED.
Our congresspeople are home this month to hear from us on the things that we care about. It is crucial that we take advantage.
So far, our they have 27 Town Hall meetings scheduled this month (see the calendar here) – and 26 of those are in small-town Oregon. The power of ROP is to bring the same message on Federal issues from all your diverse places, to reinforce to our elected officials that we are united!
HEALTHCARE AND IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
END THE WAR ON IMMIGRANTS AND ABROAD
It’s time to connect the dots. We need quality, affordable healthcare for all. We need immigration reform that protects families, upholds workers rights and provides a clear path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. We need to stop financing war and start funding human needs.
And most of all, this month, the progressive movement has to stick together. The Right is sticking together and perfecting their messages – we can’t afford to splinter now!
Make attending a Town Hall a priority. Reschedule your other meetings, ask friends to join you, get in the car or organize a carpool, and do your homework.
As you prepare your messages and plan for your Town Hall, know that the right is organized.
* FAIR, an organization at the forefront of anti-immigrant organizing, and Oregon anti-immigrant group OFIR are mobilizing their membership to attend town halls and talk about healthcare. THEY know that the way we deal with healthcare reform will have huge impacts on immigrant families and the future of inclusion in our democracy.
* Across the country, the right has organized to disrupt town halls – by yelling at constituents that advocate for single-payer, or shouting down their elected representatives and preventing them from speaking. We must bring a strong message and a clear mind in order to maintain dignity and respect while we hold our ground. Watch some footage of recent town halls here to help prepare.
ROP strongly supports the freedom to speak. We support civil discourse that ensures that all perspectives and points of view are considered with respect and given full and fair consideration. We reject thuggery and attempts to disrupt this democratic process.
ROP is reaching out to member groups in each of the 26 towns this week and next to help progressives across the state talk about real values-based solutions and tap into the strength of using one united voice. To give you a head start, attached is a Town Hall kit that can help us to coordinate a show of statewide power.
1. Talking points. Most important is to connect the dots to achieve reform on the two issues that will come before the legislature this fall: health care and immigration. Here are talking points on both.
2. Draft letter to the editor. Use this to edit and send to your local paper. Just another way to get your voice heard.
3. Town Hall signs. Town Halls are short affairs. Only a handful of participants will actually get the chance to speak and ask questions. Make sure your representative can SEE what you stand for with these simple signs that you can print out and carry with you.
4. Report back form. It is critical that we track what happens in each place so we can tell the story of how we are organizing as a state. Make your local story heard!
And when in doubt, drop ROP a line. We’re up here in Scappoose waiting for your call: 503-543-8417.
La Lucha Sigue,