[350CT] Bpt-Coal Update

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Diane Lentakis

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Apr 16, 2012, 12:45:14 PM4/16/12
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At our 4/5/2012 meeting, we discussed the principles of public hearings:

  1. Know the Process: By knowing the speakers, room layout, and moderator, you will be able to make a more effective plan.
  2. Clarify Your Goals: Set clear goals and make a plan for how to reach them, prior to the public hearing.
  3. Be on the Offensive: Government officials tend to put you on the defensive. You must change that.
  4. Craft a Message Using the Four Cs: Create a message that is Concise, Compelling, Consistent, and Controls the issue. Sandwich your testimony/facts between your messsage.
  5. Use the Hearing to Build Your Group: A strong group lends legitimacy to your campaign and provides add. resources to implement your tactics.
  6. Don't Be Afraid to Bend the Rules: If the deck is stacked against you, change the rules to your advantage.
  7. Consider Holding Your Own "Public Hearing": Invite the public, decision makers, and set your own rules.
Public Hearing Process and Logistics

Date/Time: Monday, May 14, 2012 6:30-10:00 P.M.
Location: City Hall Annex, 999 Broad Street, Bridgeport, CT
Room Size: 100+
Agenda/Order of Presentation: 6:30-7:30 P.M. Presentations
  • PSEG
  • DEEP
  • Us
                                              7:30-7:45 P.M. Break/Q&A off record
                                              7:45-10:00 P.M. Public comments on record

Will the gov. or proponents take questions? Only in the Q&A
Who is the moderator? DEEP
Who sets the agenda? DEEP
Do you need to sign up to speak? Y
How much time do you have to speak? Depends on amount of people who sign up to speak
Is the group always together? Not always

Public Hearing Goals

Your group can accomplish a number of goals at a public hearing. Rank the level of importance of the below goals and prioritize:
  • Influence Decision-Makers
  • Recruit Members
  • Educate the Public
  • Media Coverage
  • Enter Testimony/Facts Into Record
  • Disrupt the Process

  Target Neighborhoods:
  • South End of Bridgeport
  • West End of Bridgeport
  • Black Rock
  • Downtown
  • Housatonic College
  • U of Bridgeport

Groups (to name a few):

  • Faith Communities (inc. Sheri's pastor)
  • CONNECT
  • Seminaries
  • Schools
  • NRZ (neighborhood revitalization zone)
  • Housing Developments
  • YMCA
  • Petting Zoo
  • Black Rock Community Council
  • Health Dept.
  • Lung Assoc.
  • NAACP     

We decided to name our coalition "Healthy CT Alliance."

The above information was taken from Toxic Action Center's Guide for Neighborhood Groups Organizing to Clean Up and Prevent Pollution in their Communities.    

Laura Bozzi

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Apr 16, 2012, 10:04:54 PM4/16/12
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This is a great summary, thanks Diane!
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