This diary is intended for those who work at the offices of members of Congress who are holding Health Care Reform Town Halls. If you know one of them or have any type of contact information, please get this out to them. After looking into the disruptions at many of the Town Halls that have already taken place, I notice a trend that I think, if corrected, will dramatically reduce the number of disruptions taking place at these events all over the nation.
The goal of Congress members is to have a real debate is it not ? Well, we are seeing that this is not happening due to mass interruptions and incitements perpetuated by outside groups who have already made clear that they are not attending these events to join in on the conversation, but rather disrupt and halt all debate.
This can no longer stand. Organizers and staff members must start implementing some control. Those of us who worked on high profile campaigns such as the Obama and Clinton campaigns all across America knew how to do this and part of it was due to enacting effective crowd control policy that kept the events civil and the disruptions at a minimum.
Because many of theses Town Halls have already been scheduled and invitations have already been sent, here are two things that event organizers can implement immediately via e-mail or at the door to avoid or at the very least, minimize the disruptions and stop those seeking to infringe upon the rights of residents to participate in these Town Hall Events.
- Enforce a No Signage/ No Large Bags Policy: This is not a campaign rally nor it it a caucus. This is a conversation. There's no need for the signs. Organizers should send mass e-mail (the same list you used to send out and alert residents of the event) or post large signs stating the following disclaimer:
Due to recent security concerns, no large bags or signs will be permitted into the Town Hall. Thank you.
Those bringing the signs will be stopped at the door and asked to turn their sign in at a designated table to be picked up after the event. If they say no, they are asked to leave the premises where they can protest outside. If they don't , they will be escorted by local Law Enforcement.
- Enforce a "Tickets Only" Policy. This may be too late to enforce for events being held closer to today's date. But anything from a week to two weeks out can. Using the same e-mail list you invited people too. Add a feature that requires the person to RSVP with their name and address. If disruptors use this to sign up, obtain tickets anyway, you have their information. You can also add the No Sign/Bag policy as a disclaimer at the bottom of your e-mail.
This is a ticketed event. Please print and bring this ticket with you and be prepared to present identification. Due to recent security concerns, no large bags or signs will be permitted into the Town Hall. Thank you.
These two policies , if enforced and implemented , will dramatically cut the crap. It may also thin out the crowd a little bit. But the people showing up will be legit and sincere. Then, you can have a real debate on Health Care Reform. There are a few more things you could have done but it's too late for those so I wont post them.
Stay safe and good luck.