On Wednesday, there was a town hall meeting about Proposition 8, which has to do with flood mitigation. State Representatives James Talarico and Dade Phelan led the event. It was bi-partisan and was strictly informational.
I expected to see a good size group of people there, and I was not disappointed.
Wait . . . yes, I was. Because it was the same group of people who show up to these types of meetings. There were a few new faces, but not many.
When it rains and different parts of the community floods, people will go to the city council meeting or blow up Facebook and talk about how nothing is being done to address flooding.
This entire meeting was about addressing flooding. Phelan did an excellent job explaining Proposition 8 and how it could impact flood plains in Texas, including Taylor.
Unfortunately, the people who scream the loudest or type the most were not in attendance.
There are probably people who don’t realize that this proposition is on the ballot. There are others who don’t realize that it can and will impact Taylor.
It is usually a good idea to attend events like this, especially when it has to do with your community – DO NOT RELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Sorry, I’ll lower my voice again.
The event was heavily promoted – at least in the paper – so I know the word got out about it.
The same could be said about other local entity events.
I understand not everyone can make it to everything because of work, children or other obligations. But, instead of being part of the problem, offer a solution.
It is ironic that last year in the Oct. 19 issue of the Taylor Press I wrote a column (On My Soapbox: Sometimes you can’t lead a horse to water) about the low attendance at Coffee with a Cop.
With the state of the nation at that time, I thought for sure more people would have showed up and interacted with police officers. Since then, the event has grown and had better turnouts.
Hopefully at future town hall meetings more people will show up and speak up. With that said, I hope there are more opportunities for town hall meetings.
Most of the time these events are beneficial to the community and can make a difference. As reporters, it is our responsibility to cover the event to share the information.
But what if you have a question that doesn’t get asked? What if you have follow up questions?
My suggestion is use the platforms when they are available.
We all know the old adage, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
Sometimes you can’t even lead a horse to water. You can tell it where the water is, but that doesn’t mean it will go.
Other times, the horse may not be thirsty, but the water wouldn’t hurt.
I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go get ready for one of my favorite weeks of the year – NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL and WWE all in the same week.
“So, for me the town hall meetings are really an opportunity to engage in two-way dialogue with people, and they've been very helpful.”
- Jack Markell