|Posted by Siouxland Republican Women on February 10, 2011 at 5:34 PM||comments (0)|
Letting the Chamber and League of Women Voters know how we felt about the lack of decorum at the Legislative Coffee paid off. The third coffee was a great event. Hats off to the Chamber to responding to the phone calls from attendees and taking action to ensure the Legislative Coffee would be a good learning environment and positive experience for the legislators and attendees.
The League of Women Voters new moderator did a great job managing the questions and the crowd. The expectations for positive behavior were set from the beginning and when the three outbursts occurred handled swiftly and positively by the moderator and legislators.
Making a positive change can happen when many voices act together in a positive way. Some people directly approached the mentor at the events, many made calls to the Chamber, and others choose to rethink their behavior. Kudos to everyone involved.
There are three events this weekend you can attend and one more hosted by the Chamber, the League of Women Voters and more on Feb. 26. Check the Siouxland Republican Facebook page and/or the calendar here for details. Attend, ask questions and thank the legislators and hosts when it's over.
|Posted by Siouxland Republican Women on February 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM||comments (1)|
I had heard that the legislative coffees were often events attended in mass by certain groups heckling the legislators. I went to the first Legislative coffee and was impressed that there was no such behavior. The League of Women Voters did a good job moderating the event and had set the expectation at the beginning that proper decorum would be expected. The second legislative coffee was nothing like the first. The League of Women Voters threw out their own rules for the forum and tolerated outbursts of cheers and booing from the audience. The main problems I see include:
1. Our legislators are serving us and give up their time to come address constituents concerns. If there is no decorum, there’s no reason for legislators to come because they know their voice won’t be heard by the crowd anyway.
2. While it may be okay to lump a couple questions together, trying to fit so many into one as the moderator leaves the legislators in the position of determining what they think was most important about the question rather than being able to address several questions for their intention. How do you, in 90 seconds answer 4 – 6 questions rolled into one?
3. The applauding and booing is distracting. As an attendee, I want to hear everything being said so I can make my own judgment if I agree or disagree. Poor behavior on the part of attendees does not win me over to their “side” or empathize for their challenges.
4. I’ll admit that behavior can be contagious too. I was so frustrated I wanted to clap for what I approved of too – but alas had to restrain myself because it doesn't benefit the event.
Maybe the moderator had never been a moderator before. But for an organization as big as the League of Women Voters, surely there are guidelines and standards for their moderators. Had they followed their own rules on moderating, the legislative coffee could have been as enlightening and educational as the first one. When an organization throws out the rules they lose integrity of being a reputable organization.
next Legislative Coffee is Feb. 5 and I do encourage you to go. Your
legislators want you there. They want to address your questions and have a
dialog with you afterward as well. The legislators were elected by all of us,
not one loud outspoken group. Save the applause till the end. Leave the booing
behavior at home.
Let’s hope the League of Women Voters take control and set the tone like they did the first time around.