Once you’ve successfully circulated The Checklist to households in your community and received enough support (*) to book a local venue for a Town Hall Meeting, you can start assembling a team of supporters to help you make big things happen! Congratulations! This is where the hard work pays off in the form of increased interaction between community members keen to understand more about resilience and the opportunities facing them.
(*) support as in the form of an email rsvp as requested in The Checklist delivery – this is essential to avoid the predicament of hiring a hall with a 100 seat capacity if 500 people turn up!
Traditionally, a Town Hall Meeting is a forum for politicians to meet their constituents, hear from them on topics of interest and discuss upcoming legislation. In the case of The Local Resilience Project however, the first Town Hall Meeting, although it will include local politicians, will have a very ‘resilience specific’ focus. Essentially, it will be an opportunity for people to:
- meet ‘local experts’ in the 12 Checklist areas with the aim of ‘improving their scores’
- network, share ideas and socialise with neighbours
- ask their political representatives how they can resource community resilience needs and
- discuss an Action Plan, consider a Focus Group & set a date for the next Meeting.
As for the venue, Town Hall Meetings can take place in a variety of venues provided the amenities are private, environmentally comfortable, suited to large numbers with catering facilities and restrooms and, if possible, good WiFi access e.g. school auditoriums/ gymnasiums, senior citizens halls, bowling clubs, libraries, municipal buildings and churches.
Inviting representatives of the local media to report on the Town Hall Meeting and facilitate the awareness of your resilience intentions is highly recommended. A floor plan and suggestions on how to run this first Town Hall ‘Meet The Experts’ Meeting will be included on this website.
NB: The next step you take in The Call To Action will depend on the outcomes of your first Town Hall Meeting and the agreed upon Action Plan. For example:
- some communities will solidify their resilience ideas by organising a Focus Group, the results of which they can share with the broader community via the next Town Hall Meeting and/ articles in the local media before making major decisions about projects, petitions, sponsorship or funding initiatives.
- other communities will skip the Focus Group and move directly onto obtaining financial support for introducing new resilience infrastructure in the form of a Community Garden, Men’s Shed etc. There is no ‘right’ way to move through The Call To Action and every community will find the formula that best suits their regional identity and social capital.