Pointing the way to a clean energy future

Your Guide to Townhalls

Download this guide to a pdf and print to take with you -- or bookmark this page on your phone.
1. Find out when your Representative or Senator’s next town hall or public meeting is being held. ​Check Town Hall Project, check local news outlets, or call your member of Congress directly to ask.

2. Prepare! Think of the question you want to ask (we’ve included some samples below), show up early, ​find a comfortable seat, and look for any microphones that have been set up to take comments. Sit close to one so you will be more likely to be able to ask a question. If you are planning on bringing a sign that opposes your member of Congress and her or his agenda, remember that it decreases the likelihood that you will be able to ask a question.

3. Be civil, but don’t let them off the hook ​-- demand they answer the question you asked, not the question that they want to answer.

4. Take pictures and video.​ Having video of what your elected officials say is a great way to hold them accountable. Post pictures and video on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and tag @SierraClub so we can see and share them.

Sample Questions:

Trump’s plans for the EPA will put our communities and health at risk. Relaxing enforcement on clean air, water, and climate hurt me and my family because (we have asthma, we are worried about water quality, I’m concerned about climate change, etc). What will you do to stand up to his radical agenda?

We are seeing the impacts of climate change around the country with more wildfires, severe drought, more dangerous storms and even here in our state. Will you oppose efforts to stop action to curb carbon pollution?

Both the House and Senate are pushing legislation to make it harder for our environmental agencies to issue standards to protect the environment and public health and our environment. These safeguards protect communities, will you oppose efforts to undermine agency rulemaking authority?

Will you stand up for critical environmental protections enacted by the Obama Administration, like rules to limit methane pollution?

Senator Toomey has introduced a resolution to repeal standards protecting downwind states from air pollution like smog, will you vote no on any effort to gut clean air standards?

Congress has targeted a number of clean air and clean water standards for repeal. Will you oppose efforts to repeal important clean air and clean water standards so that our kids and communities are safe and healthy?

President Trump and leaders in Congress are threatening to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency and one Florida congressman introduced a bill to eliminate the EPA. Will you oppose efforts to kill the EPA -- an important agency charged with protecting our clean air clean water and kids health?

Some in Congress have said that the Endangered Species Act should be thrown out. America is blessed with a unique natural heritage of wildlife. Will you stand up to those would would gut the ESA?

America has a rich heritage of national parks, national monuments and national refuges. Will you oppose legislation to eliminate protections for new national monuments like Bears Ears in Utah?

Some in Congress have threatened to use the budget process to push for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, will you vote against backdoor efforts to allow oil drilling in America's last great wilderness?

Congress is using a controversial legislative tool to overturn recently finalized standards from the Obama administration. The Congressional Review Act, or CRA, is a blunt instrument that allows Congress to nullify important protections for our air, water, and public health. Will you oppose all use of the CRA to kill lifesaving safeguards?

Trump has pledged to renegotiate trade agreements, and I'm deeply concerned that his renegotiation will not be based in concern for communities and our climate. My basis for evaluating any trade deal is clear: Does it support -- not undermine -- a more stable climate, clean air and water, healthy communities, and good union jobs? Will you commit to opposing any trade renegotiation that fails to meet this standard?

Image Source: 
istock/DigitalZombie