Our power grows when we join our voices together and speak out for justice. When Congress heads home for recess, constituents like you can engage members in person on issues like protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Use this toolkit for help influencing officials when they are back home, especially during local town hall meetings.
Why town halls? According to the Town Hall Project: “There is no better way to influence your representatives than in-person conversations. Town halls are a longstanding American tradition where our elected representatives must listen and respond to the concerns of their constituents. Remember: you are their boss.”
So now that you know why town halls are so important, here’s how how to prep for a town hall (or other) meeting:
- Check out this great map from the Town Hall Project to find an event happening in your district. If there isn’t an event listed there, you can also determine if they’re hosting a meeting in your community by calling their office.
- Come early. Sometimes you’ll have a chance to meet your member in person before the event gets started.
- Plan one question in advance.
We suggest: “The administration is currently pursuing oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Americans love our wild places and public lands, and the majority think we shouldn’t sell these places off for more dirty oil — especially when we urgently need to address climate change. I urge you to vote in favor of H.R. 1146 to protect the Arctic Refuge when it comes for a floor vote in September. Will you commit to support this bill?” (You can also connect the Arctic Refuge with your local community by using local conservation or environmental issues as examples. Find some additional Arctic Refuge talking points here.)
- Raise your hand early so you can get your question in before the audience gets warmed up.
- Bring a sign! Even if you don’t get a chance to ask a question, you can hold up your sign to catch their eye – or any local press. Here’s a link to an Arctic Refuge sign.
- Stay after the meeting to see if you can meet with your member one-on-one.
- Share contact information with anyone asking questions similar to yours – it’s good to have allies for later efforts.
The oil and gas industry and its allies in Washington, D.C., are gearing up for a big fight to auction off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and its coastal plain to drilling. The Trump administration and Alaska’s congressional delegation continue to push a reckless and expedited timeline to open the Arctic Refuge to development, ignoring science, human rights and overwhelming public opposition in the process.
Trump’s team has stated that they will move forward with a lease sale for the Arctic Refuge coastal plain in 2019. We must show strong opposition in Congress and raise our voices now to slow this process and show how controversial opening the Arctic Refuge is to the American people.