Advice on going to a public meeting in your neighborhood
is a Twitter thread by Laura Loe Bernstein, 4 Dec 2017, republished here with permission.
If you’ve never gone to a public meeting in your neighborhood here’s some advice:
1. Bring a buddy - don’t go alone
2. Bring a drink and a snack - they can be long meetings
3. Try to get some tips from pro-housing orgs like @WelcomingWally @seattle4every1 @HillEcoDistrict renters initiative and also message me!!!
4. Try to find something the org has done in the past that you agree with to compliment them on and to show you understand their value - genuine flattery works
5. Say who you are, mention if you’re a renter, you don’t have to say your address but maybe say “I love living near (favorite local thing)” demonstrate you have shared values
6. State why you don’t agree with the MHA appeal - “I don’t think this is the time for us to slow down the process towards building any housing types & this appeal slows down the timeline.”
7. Mention the amenities the community has and why more people need access to them - is it a school? A park? A rapid bus?
8. Mention how you have friends that want to live there but can’t or if you have kids mention any families that had to move away cause there weren’t options for them
9. Mention that of course we need renter protections & emergency housing options for ppl suffering now but all the delays on even a market rate apartment building further displacement (this might be new info for these folks.)
10. Mention that the changes to Seattle need to happen city-wide and the 6% of the changes schedule through the MHA upzones is the very very very minimum we need to collectively do to Share Our City. It isn’t perfect but doing nothing is really a terrible option.
11. End by thanking them, maybe state why you haven’t been involved more in the past “I’m in school & I have a job // the meetings are when I put my kids to bed // I didn’t get any notice of your meeting at my apartment” end by telling them how they’ve excluded you, if they have.
12. Get your buddy to take photos of you and tweet it out and document it and tag local journalists in the post @TheStranger @CurbedSeattle @SoSeaEmerald etc
13. State you weren’t paid to be there & you are a neighbor & that even if you lived outside the community but wanted to live there those voices should be heard too #sharethecity