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NCSL’s The Rise and Fall of Town Meetings

The 66-minute Rise and Fall of the Town Hall Meeting video shows the NCSL (National Conference of State Legislatures) 2009 Fall Forum held on Dec. 11, 2009.  The video features three legislators talking about the effective use of town hall meetings and deliberation. One of the legislators featured is NCDD member and Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara. The other speakers included: Representative Sheryl L. Allen (Utah), Representative Ellen Roberts (Colorado), and Katie Ziegler (NCSL).

Senator Ihara’s presentation cites NCDD’s work heavily. He talks at length about our Upgrading the Way We Do Politics resources, which we created in response to the Fall 2009 town halls on health care reform, and he presents the 7 Core Principles for Public Engagement, explaining that the D&D community worked together to agree on the Core Principles in response to Obama’s memorandum on transparency, collaboration and public participation. You can view or download Senator Ihara’s powerpoint presentation here.

Here’s the description of the Fall Forum from NCSL:

Town hall meetings have traditionally been a wonderful opportunity for legislators to meet with their constituents, both to hear what is on people’s minds and to tell them about legislative news. However some recent town hall meetings have seen disruptive and uncivil behavior. This session described some recent legislator experiences and examined methods to hold productive and courteous meetings. Presenters provided tips and best practices and also explained how to use a legislator’s “power to convene” to hold collaborative meetings to solve community problems.

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