Tips for First-Time Advocates
I’ve never testified at a City Council meeting before and it seems scary. Help!
Don’t stress! Here are some tips for first-time advocates:
Step 1: Think about what you want to say. Feel free to use the template below, or come up with something entirely your own. You will have 2-3 minutes to speak.
Step 2: Find out when and where your City Council meeting is going to be held. Make a plan to bring a friend!
Step 3: Check the agenda ahead of time so that you’ll have some idea of when in the meeting you will be able to speak.
Step 3: Show up to the meeting early. There should be a sign-in sheet available when you get there – you’ll need to sign up to testify.
Step 4: When your name is called, step up to the mic! Make sure you introduce yourself. Some Councils might ask for your street address if you are a constituent.
TEMPLATE FOR ARCH TESTIMONY
- Hello, My Name is ________________, and I live/work (pick one or both) in _(insert city here)__.
- As an EHAC Member, Eastside resident, Eastside employee, person concerned about homelessness and affordable housing(pick one or multiple) I am here tonight to thank the City of _________ (insert city you are commenting to) for participating in ARCH (A Regional Coalition for Housing).
- Insert statement about why affordable housing and homelessness is so important to you and to the eastside or tell a success story of someone served in your ARCH funded program.Example: As an employee for an east side service provider, I see homeless families from the east side every day, and I can tell you that the need for programs funded through ARCH is continuing to grow. This is why ARCH funding is so critical in this budget cycle.
- Again, thank you for your support of affordable housing and homelessness programs through ARCH funding, and please increase funding for ARCH in this year’s budget.
Other messages you could add:
- ARCH Housing Trust Fund dollars help create and support jobs on the east side.
- It should be possible for working people to afford housing and still have enough money for the basics like groceries and gas and child care.
- Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.
- Children deserve a chance to succeed in school and in life, which all begins with their family being able to afford a decent place to live.
- It’s better for society, the environment, and families if people can afford to live close to where they work.