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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Co-sponsors and Speakers:
Gold Star Families for Peace
Progressive Democrats of America
Win without War
After Downing Street
Hip Hop Caucus

the Troops Home
Velvet Revolution
The Nation
The Backbone Campaign
Brad Blog

In April, Congress will vote to give George Bush another $102 billion blank check for Iraq - unless we finally persuade our Representatives to Just Say No.

One of the best ways to persuade a Representative is to hold a Town Hall Meeting and fill the hall with people who care and are willing to speak passionately. That gets their attention!

(Another way is to turn out a crowd for a Town Hall that your Representative is already scheduled to attend. You can follow the appropriate instructions below.)

So we're asking the 500,000 members of to organize Iraq Town Halls in all 435 Congressional districts on any Sunday in April. It takes just two reliable activists to get started - can you help?

Here are the basic steps for planning the Town Hall (you may need to click "read more" right below):

1. "Raise your hand" by logging in here:
Look under "Congressional District" and see if someone else has volunteered for an Iraq Town Hall. If so, click the link and offer your help in the comments.
If no one else has volunteered, next to "Congressional District" click [Post] and a blank form will open. Complete the form as follows:
Subject: Iraq Town Hall Volunteer
Topic: Iraq Town Halls (#4 on the topics list)
Body: Identify yourself and write what you're willing to do, and what you need help to do. If you want to hold a small meeting to plan the event, post a time and place (for example a convenient coffee shop or library).
2. Ask one reliable friend to help you organize this event
3. Pick a convenient auditorium with several hundred seats - a school, church, library etc.
4. Call and ask which Sundays in April are available for a Town Hall Meeting on Iraq, how much they charge for a 2-hour event, and whether you can sell tickets at the door to cover costs.
5. Call the District Office (not DC office) of your Representative in your local phone book or here:
ask for the scheduler to find out which of the available auditorium dates work for your Representative. If your Representative won't give you a date promptly, pick one yourself - and leave an empty seat on the stage for your Representative.
6. Post an announcement of the event by logging in here:
next to "Congressional District" click [Post]
Subject: Iraq Town Hall Scheduled
Topic: Iraq Town Halls (#4 on the topics list)
Body: Date, Time, Location, Address, etc.
If you need to raise money to pay for the auditorium, mention how much and where they can send a contribution.
7. Email us at iraqtownhall[at]democrats{dot}com and we'll give you instructions how to email all of our members in your Congressional District.
8. Reach out to local Iraq veterans and their families to speak (see speakers at top)
9. Reach out to progressive allies in your area to bring people and spread the word:
10. Make a 1-page flyer (or use the sample below) and post it in busy locations (coffee shops, supermarkets, libraries, post offices, etc.)
11. Post your event on every community calendar you can think of (internet, radio, newspaper, etc)
12. Email and/or call local reporters (TV, radio, newspaper, blogs) to personally invite them to attend

Here are the basic things to do at the actual Town Hall:

1. Come early to set up and bring all the items you need below
2. Test the sound system to make sure it works
3. Bring video cameras to record the event for Youtube
4. Set up a few long tables in the back for literature from your allies
5. Set up a table and chairs on the stage with a readable sign for each speaker, including your Representative - whether (s)he attends or not
6. On the podium, tape a sign with your Representative's name and DC phone number in large letters so everyone can add them to their cellphone
7. Set up a card table at the door with several clipboards for sign-in sheets. Ask for name, zip, email, and cellphone for texting
8. Bring a cash box for contributions
9. Greet reporters at the door, thank them for coming, and invite them to sit in the front and interview the speakers
10. After the speeches, ask everyone to call their Representative and leave a message with their name and address and a simple demand: vote NO on $102 billion more for Iraq
11. Form a committee to keep up the pressure on your Representative through grassroots events like honkathons, ironing-board letter-writing, anti-war film showings, tables at community events, etc.

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