Comment 69661

By Borrelli (registered) | Posted September 15, 2011 at 11:13:53

I'm gonna jump into this one a little late, and note a couple of observations:

(1) If one thing seems clear about reaction to MSC's TownHalls concept, it's that it is tentative. If my quick reading of the comment scores is accurate (zeroes votes? when does that ever happen?), it doesn't appear that there's any great opposition to it, only that caution is holding people back from actively supporting it. Why?

(2) Because it's a mighty tall order to organize, publicize, and ultimately pull-off. Not that it's impossible, only that larger groups with greater organizational history and capacity haven't really managed anything like it in my memory. It's not a one-off meeting MSC is proposing: it's a movement, reliant and sustained on citizen interest and involvement.

So I think it's fair that citizens might ask, "Where's the beef?" (not the best metaphor, but it'll work)

With biographical availability being the way it is (everyone already has lives, interests, commitments up the wazoo), I think it's perfectly understandable that there's been a withholding of general support until that delicious beef is located.

(3) So IMHO, the initial steps in pitching this idea to the wider citizenry are: a) having a small group of people actually piloting a townhall in a ward or neighbourhood; b) successfully pulling it off; c) demonstrating that it's a simple enough model to be replicated elsewhere; and, d) it pays dividends to organizers and participants.

(4) Though I definitely don't need another steak on my plate, I am game for making whatever small contribution I can to see what can be accomplished with a small-group/low-resource model of community organizing.

(5) Lastly, I'm curious: what is this calling-out of Ryan on endorsement (if I'm reading that right)?

I have the utmost respect for the guy who gives us a valuable forum for civic discussion, but why do you feel that TH organizing is contingent on his blessing? RTH is populated by a lot of independent, strong-minded people. I don't get the feeling that public opinion here falls into place that way, even if Ryan was interested in steering it...

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