Are you thinking about making a public comment at an upcoming city or county meeting but don’t know what to say or how to say it? Check out our guidelines for preparing a public comment below! If you have additional questions about talking points for a specific topic, you can always reach out to the people or organizations campaigning for (or against) that topic for help!

 

Preparing your statement:

Introduce Yourself: My name is XYZ, and live in City and/or address. 

Add title or background if appropriate: I am a board member, a scientist, a student, a business owner, etc. 

Say thank you: Thank you to Mayor Russell, City Manager King, and Councilors for this opportunity to speak. 

*Keep the above abbreviated since it eats into your time to speak. *

Make it brief: Most meetings only allow 1-2 minutes per person for public comments  – that’s ~200-300 words, depending on how fast you speak! Your statement needs to be brief and to-the-point. Don’t try to incorporate a lot of backstory or use roundabout language.

Make it personal:  Use your own words as much as possible. If you are directly impacted, say so.

Give a very brief introduction to your concern and what you want Councilors to do: Tell them what you want them to do and why. This is the body of your statement and where you want to bring up specific key talking points.

End with another thank you and your request: This is your last sentence, so make it courteous and memorable. Thank you for making a stand, securing our health and safety, voting NO (or YES) on this issue, etc.

 

Check in with the rules about making public comments in whatever meeting you plan to attend:

Some meetings require you to register or sign up ahead of time if you plan to speak. Others will simply ask attendees who wish to speak to raise their hands (virtually or physically) during the meeting.

To make a statement for a Deschutes County Board of Commissioners meeting:

      • Sometime before the meeting (up to 15 minutes), use the Deschutes County Meeting Portal to access the meeting agenda and find the Zoom login information for the meeting
      • During the public comment section of the meeting, raise your hand in Zoom to speak

To make a statement for a Bend City Council meeting:

      • Go to https://www.bendoregon.gov/government/city-council/city-council-meeting-agendas-video
      • Sometime before the meeting (up to 15 minutes) click on “Agenda”
        • Note: Agendas are only available 1 week before the scheduled meeting. If there isn’t an “Agenda” link for the meeting you wish to speak at, try visiting the site again within 1 week of the meeting.
      • Register to speak during the PUBLIC COMMENT Section.
      • During the public comment section of the meeting, raise your hand in Zoom to speak

To make a statement for a Bend Environmental and Climate Committee meeting:

      • Go to https://www.bendoregon.gov/government/committees/environment-climate-committee
      • Sometime before the meeting (up to 15 minutes) click on “Agenda”
        • Note: Agendas are only available 1 week before the scheduled meeting. If there isn’t an “Agenda” link for the meeting you wish to speak at, try visiting the site again within 1 week of the meeting.
      • Find the Zoom login information at the top of the meeting agenda and use that to log in to the meeting – you do not need to register to speak at these meetings
      • During the public comment section of the meeting, raise your hand in Zoom to speak

 

 

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