Attend a town hall meeting
If you’re attending a town hall meeting during a Congressional recess, speak up for science! Meet your neighbors and influence your policymakers!
How to find a town hall meeting
- Look up your members of Congress: https://www.congress.gov/members
- Locate the district office phone number on their website, and call to inquire if they’re holding a town hall meeting soon, or try to find it on their websites or Facebook pages.
- If they are not holding a town hall meeting, ask them to place you on their mailing list for future updates on town halls. You can also encourage them and register your opinion that they hold a town hall soon, or a public forum where you can meet the senator or representative and discuss your issues.
Preparing for a town hall meeting
!!! Make sure you find out your Member of Congress’s position on the budget before speaking out!!!
Speak from a personal perspective and keep your comments non-partisan, courteous (ie, no ad-hominen attacks), and brief. And most importantly, show how your passion for science, hope for the future, and/or how your concerns tie back to your community.
Tailor your comments based on what is going on in your community, and what you’ve read in your newspaper . For example, have any of your members of congress spoken out against the budget? Applaud them. Have any of your members of Congress spoken out against science? Point out how science benefits your community.
Below are some talking points you may want to use. Choose the ones that are most relevant to your personal examples:
- The White House’s 2018 budget plan, if it were to become law, would devastate America’s science and technology enterprise and negatively affect our nation’s economy and public well-being.
- Slashing funding of critically important federal agencies threatens our nation’s ability to advance cures for disease, develop new energy technologies, improve public health, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and grow America’s economy.
- This is the President's plan, but it is Congress that decides how much funding federal agencies will ultimately receive.
- R&D produces an incredible return on investment, securing a prosperous and competitive future. It's hard to think of an important technological advancement since World War II, from the internet, GPS or MRI machines, that hasn't involved at least some form of federally supported research.
- American physical and life sciences leadership has helped us better understand ourselves and our world, enabling us to improve and lengthen Americans’ lives, enhance public health, advance food safety and security, and enhance quality of life.
- Environmental, agricultural and Earth sciences research has allowed state leaders and managers, business owners, and farmers to have access to the best available science for critical decision making that impacts our energy and transportation infrastructure, agriculture sector, and water resources management.
- Defense research has improved the effectiveness of our armed forces and our awareness of growing threats around the world, and saved lives on the battlefield and once soldiers are home.
- Social and behavioral science research has been critical to respond effectively to disasters; enhance intelligence analysis; understand decision-making and its impact on public health and business investments; improve international relations, and effectively educate the STEM workforce
- Math and computer science research has made the Internet economy possible and improved cybersecurity.
- Material and engineering sciences have improved energy sources, space exploration, bridges and roads, and enabled countless technologies and products now essential to modern lives.