What I learned From Attending A Town Forum & Why You Should Attend One Too.

Featured Picture courtesy of Bing

I’ve often shared many times on this blog that I’m NOT a political person and NO I’m not about to surprise you and say but you know what “I Really Am” – I’m really NOT. However, on my quest of saying YES towards the end of last year, attending a town forum was something interesting I wanted to do in spite of my brain saying NOOOOOOO…

While I wanted to say no, I was somewhat intrigued to go and find out what a “town forum” was all about and if I can be honest, by the end of it, I was very happy I attended.

And Here’s Why …

But before I get into that, just in case you don’t know what a town forum is – let me give you the definition here: Town hall meetings also referred to as town halls or town hall forums, are a way for local and national politicians to meet with their constituents, either to hear from them on topics of interest or to discuss specific upcoming legislation or regulations. It’s a place for town members to communicate with political leaders and those running for specific positions within that community or town.

So now that you know what it is, here’s why I’m glad I participated.

For quite a few years I’ve always seen political signs around my place of residence, town, and county. That’s how I always know when there’s some type of election going on outside of the BIG one where we choose a new president of the United States. Sadly, I’ve never participated in those “smaller” elections just the big ones. However, after attending the town forum – I realized that there are individuals who represent us “more than I knew about” on a smaller level. I mean don’t get me wrong, the President of the United States plays a major role in decision making and how it affects us on a state level. The mayor of our local towns and individuals running for the council seats, represent us on a local/county level.

Attending the forum was informative, for our county – two years were up and it was time to pick a new mayor and individuals who put their name in the hat to sit on the board of elections. You had people that had served for mayor consecutively as well as others who were vying for the coveted seat. There were also individuals who served on the city council consecutively that were running again and those who were giving them a good run for their money in trying to take the seat from them.

The forum was set inside a school auditorium, once you entered you were greeted by registrants who gave you the information in regards to each candidate. They even had snacks, if you wanted those – “Guess these events last for quite a while, I thought.” – While I took my information and bypassed the snacks, I was surprised to see so many people out in support of this event. As I took my seat, there were already people sitting upfront. There was the candidate who was looking to get elected again and the newbie who was looking to get voted in. There was a moderator up reading the questions that the audience wrote down for each candidate to answer – some were specific to the current candidate and others were for the nominee and there were the occasional ones that were for both.

It was interesting to say the least, here are my takeaways in which helped me immensely when it came down to casting my vote!

#1. You Can Put A Name With A Face! – I’m sure you’ve heard this before, It’s one thing to see all those signs around the town of a person’s name. However, it’s even better to put a name and a face together, this is good – especially when you’re looking down at that voting ballot and wondering “Who the Heck is Joe Banana!” lol…

#2. You Get A Good Look At Whose Running & Their Mission/Why Statement – Another thing that will come to your mind looking down at the ballot is what the individual said in the town forum. Did their goals/actions for your community line up with your thoughts? Do they seem like they’ll get the job done? Plus you’ll have time to talk with them one on one afterward – Face and Body language of an individual is KEY!

Gain Knowledge about Your Community – there were things said on the forum that I had no idea was going on within my own community. There may even be things you can do to help out. Knowledge is POWER!

Having gone to the town forum, it made voting very easy for me. I knew the faces, heard the speeches and that’s how I made my determination. Not from a paper just being given to me upon walking into the voting arena but from my own knowledge of what I saw as well as heard. Another thing I learned was what “district” I was actually in. This is very important as everyone that has a sign plastered across the highway may not necessarily be in your district, this is more meaningful when it comes to the ones running for a council seat. So make sure the person you’re rooting for is actually IN your district. As the voting ballot will only display the ones that are.

With the biggest election happening this year, electing a new President of the U.S. I’m not a political person, however, I do vote and feel as though if you haven’t ever done it before? Try going to a town forum or paying close attention to the news of the candidates running for President in both Democratic and Republican parties for yourself. Also, while we’re on the heels of voting for a new President there are also people in your communities who are looking to get your vote as well to either stay in their current official office or the nomination of a newly elected official to take over. Find out today who those people are and see if there will be any forums and etc. going on in your community that you can attend.

You’ll be glad you did. And Surprisingly? I truly was..