portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article questions portland metro

community building | economic justice

So how was the Economic Crisis Town Hall Followup Meeting?

So how was the Economic Crisis Town Hall Followup Meeting? What was the vibe? Are people understanding what is happening and that the economy is collapsing?
Would like a report from someone who was there

I was there 21.Feb.2009 08:13


It was a good meeting. Lots of enthusiasm, lots of ideas. and yes, virtually everybody understood that the economy is collapsing.

Not a lot of agreement on what to do about though. A lot of people are already in organizations, and are just using the town hall set up to advertise their group. Other people seem to want something new to rise out of it, like an on-going campaign or a series of actions.

There was good democratic discussion like you'd see at an actual 'town hall' event.

there's going to be another one at march 11th...i think. Everybody should come.

disappointing 21.Feb.2009 09:52

wooden elephant

I thought the meeting was very disappointing. In my small group two or three people did all the talking and were disrepectful of others in the group, very undemocratic. Also people should know that one of the big powers in this organizing effort , the Apollo Project, is a front for big coal. Ask them if they like the oxymoronic "clean coal". I was very excited by the first town hall meeting but won't go again.

Lots of energy! 21.Feb.2009 14:33


I agree more with the first comment. There were tons of people, and lots of energy. It's a little unclear where it's going, but at least folks are trying to coordinate something. My small group was pretty good, a nice mix of people coming from very different places, but everyone had their say, and wanted to work together. Elephant, it sucks that your small group was crappy, maybe you should have tried to change the dynamic. Also, I don't think the Apollo thing is a driving force in the group, but one of the many, many organizations or projects that folks in the room are working with. I don't know much about them, but if you think many folks in that room support coal, "clean" or otherwise, I think you are way off.

This just in... 22.Feb.2009 07:42

via email announcement

March 7th Town Hall Meeting with Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Special Guest: Attorney General John Kroger

Back by popular demand: a joint town hall for residents of Senate District 21, including presentations by Representative Carolyn Tomei (House District 41) and Representative Jules Bailey (House District 42). This is our second town hall with the three of us together and the first one since the 2009 Legislative Session began. In addition, Attorney General John Kroger will be there to answer any questions you may have about his legislative priorities.

We will be meeting at the SEIU Local 49 headquarters, which is located at 3536 SE 26th Ave. in Portland from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 7th. You will hear the latest information on the budget situation, education funding, women's health and wellness legislation, environmental issues, and efforts to support families who are struggling as a result of our economic crisis.

Plus, there will be plenty of time for you to ask questions. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.


Senator Diane Rosenbaum (SD-21)

email:  sen.dianerosenbaum@state.or.us
phone: 503-986-1721
web:  http://www.leg.state.or.us/rosenbaum

For more information, contact Kristie Perry at 503-986-1721 or  kristie.perry@state.or.us.

From one of the organizers... 24.Feb.2009 11:04

Steve Snyder stevens@hevanet.com

As one of the organizers of the Town Hall and followup, I am sorry that Wooden Elephant was disappointed in the followup meeting. I would encourage you and others who may have been disappointed to at least hook up with a fight-back organization that is doing work around the economy or work that is being done to create alternatives to the corporate economy. There were a lot of great groups that co-sponsored the Town Hall and they are all doing important work.

What we hoped to accomplish at the meeting was to give people a range of options to plug into in the fight for economic justice and transformation. That was the intent of the first part of the meeting... to get different groups to make brief announcements/descriptions of the various projects/campaigns underway. The second thing we hoped to accomplish was to get people to come up with a few ideas for actions and or campaigns that unify us across our various interests and struggles. We thought breaking people into small groups would be the most democratic way to do that. Finally, in bringing everyone together at the end, we hoped that the ideas from the small groups would distill into a few options.

Those of us that organized the followup recognize some of the limitations; for one thing, we did not expect 120 people to show up. And I think that the success of the small groups depended on the skills of the facilitators and the people in the group. And I think we thought there would be much more unity on next steps - both actions and campaigns.

So having said this, if you have any suggestions as to how things could be improved for the next meeting - what you would like to see happen, ideas for improvement, please email me. This whole thing is a work in progress - we are all trying to figure it out as we go along. So even if this strand of the movement doesn't fit for you, I would encourage you to get out there and help make something happen. Cause we all know that the corporate elites and political allies are out there trying to twist this crisis to their advantage...