Apr 16, 2012, 8:39:46 AM4/16/12
I. Introductions (5 minutes)
II. Principles of Public Hearings (5 minutes)
III. Five Steps to Public Hearing Planning
1. Campaign Plan thus Far Review (5 minutes))
2. Public Hearing Process/Logistics (10 minutes)
3. Groups Goal for the Public Hearing (10 minutes)
4. Recruitment Brainstorm (20 minutes)
5. Message and Testimony (10 minutes)
6. Plan (45 minutes)
IV. Evaluate/Next Meeting (5 minutes)
I. Principles Of Public Hearings ( 5 mins)
Be On The Offensive
Often times in public hearings, the process is set up to put you on
the defensive. Government officials set up the meeting to make it hard
for you to get your message out. You need to change that.
Clarify Your Goals
You can accomplish many things through a public hearing: influencing
decision makers, getting media coverage, recruiting for your group,
and educating the public. Often times a public hearing is not the best
time to influence your decision maker. Make sure to set clear goals
and to make a plan for how to reach them before you go to the public
Know The Hearing Process
Know the rules of the game. By knowing the hearing process--who can
speak, how will the room be set up, who is the moderator--you will be
able to make a more effective plan.
Craft A Message Using The Four Cs
You will be able to influence the government officials, media, and
public best if your message is Concise, Compelling, Consistent and
Controls the issue. Attendees often come away from events like this
remembering just one thing.
Use The Hearing To Build Your Group
In addition to forwarding your program, use the public hearing to
build the size and strength of your group.
Don’t Be Afraid To Bend The Rules
Sometimes the deck is so stacked against you at public hearings, that
you lose by following instructions. If that is the case, consider
strategies and tactics that shake up the meeting to help you achieve
Consider Holding Your Own “Public Hearing”
There are times when holding your own “public hearing” will help you
reach your campaign goal. Invite the public, invite decision-makers,
and set your own rules.
II. Six Steps To Planning A Public Hearing
Step 1: Review Campaign Thus Far (5 mins)
1. Retirement of the Bridgeport Harbor Generating Station
Ralph Izzo – PSEG
Hero Opportunity: We think BHS is a lose-lose situation for them. Bad
for their image and bad for their profits- so we want to offer them
the opportunity to do the right thing before we escalate.
Step 2: Public Hearing Process And Logistics (10 mins)
Date and time: May 14th, 6:30pm
Location: Bridgeport City Annex
Size Of Room: Not sure, need to ask Sheri/Onte
Agenda/Order Of Presentation:
6:30 – 7:30 Presentations: (60 mins
PSEG (20 mins)
DEEP (20 mins)
US (20 mins)
7:30 – 7:45 Break/Q&A OFF THE RECORD (15 mins)
7:45 - ? Public Comment ON RECORD
(heard in order of sign-up)
Will the government or the proponents take questions? only during Q&A
Who is the moderator? DEEP Who set the agenda? DEEP
Do you need to sign up to talk? Yes
How much time do you have to talk? Dependant on # of commenters
Is the group always together? Not during the Q&A
Step 3. Public Hearing Goals (10 mins)
Since we feel that we will not be able to reach our goals of
retirement and redevelopment through the permit renewal, the goal of
this hearing will be to
1. Recruit members
2. Educate the Public
3. Garner media coverage (do an event the Thursday before?)
All of these things combined will influence our target decision-maker
PSEG to take our Hero opportunity offer seriously.
Step 4: Rec’t Brainstorm (20 mins)
U of Bport
Bridgeport Alliance for Young Children
Step 5: Message And Testimony (10 mins)
Words That Help Your Cause
obsolete, dinosaur, toxins, reduce pollution, community grassroots,
environmental justice, revitalize, transition, develop our city for
the future,, the residents decide whats happens in Bridgeport-not the
company, clean future, legacy, soot, asthma, clean air, healthy kids,
healthy families, coal free, mountaintop removal
Words That Hurt Your Cause
electricity. need for energy, power plant, keeping the lights on,
reliability, utility price hikes, cheap energy, tree hugger,
elimination of existing jobs, abandoned factory, loss of jobs, clean
coal, energy deficiency, economic losses
*noted that "global warming" & "sustainable living" were not declared
as particularly helpful for the general public audience.
Effective messages tell a good story and motivate people to get
involved. The key parts of any good campaign message are: Problem,
Solution, and Action.
The unwanted, unwelcome coal plant is poisoning our community's air.
Our children and elderly deserve to be healthy and breathe clean air.
We call on PSEG's CEO Ralph Izzo to expedite retirement and help the
community to redevelop.
The unwelcome coal plant is poisoning our air. We call on PSEG's CEO
Ralph Izzo to give our children and elderly clean air to breathe by
retiring the plant and revitalizing the community.
What testimony or facts do you want to enter into the record?
Need a whole host of options from CLF/CFE to distribute so that folks
aren’t all saying the same thing.
Your testimony and facts should always be “sandwiched” between your
message. Write out an outline of your “message sandwich” for your
messengers to use.
I will need talking points from CLF/CFE to share with the community
group so that we can layer this in and not all sound exactly the same.
Fresh Air for Bridgeport!
Visuals That Compliment Your Message
a nice skyline
children & elderly enjoying a parkStep 6: Tactics And Plan
*See excel grid for my sample plan