Deliberative Town Hall Much More Calm, Constructive Than Many Other Town Halls

Many of the Town Hall meetings on health care held around the country in the last month have been mostly useless to citizens actually trying to engage with their elected representatives.  Meetings designed to be discussions have degenerated into shouting matches: people on both sides of the issue come prepared, at best, to debate; at worst, to intimidate. Based on positive past town hall experiences with New Mexico First, and hoping to avoid confrontations, Senator Jeff Bingaman asked NMF to organize a different sort of health care forum. New Mexico First designed a deliberative town hall meeting, where citizens came together in small groups and deliberated on what questions were most important to ask. Having worked through their concerns, these were the questions put to Senator Bingaman. The questions were tough, but the resulting tenor of the discussion was far different from other town halls you may have seen on the news or YouTube.