Get Involved >> Advocate's Toolkit >> Public Hearings
<< back to Advocate's Toolkit

Testifying at Public Hearings
Anyone with an interest in the subject of a hearing at a City Council or state legislative hearing may testify; testimony at Congressional hearings is by invitation. There are basically three types of hearings:

1. On budgets
2. On proposed legislation
3. On how well government provides the services

Legislators often schedule topics for these hearings after they hear from people like you about a particular problem.

If you have a personal story that can shed some light on the issue being discussed or if you can provide a unique perspective on that issue, your testimony can be useful to legislators by informing them of how government policy does or does not work at the community level. To testify, simply call the committee that is holding the hearing and find out how long you will be given to testify and whether you will be given an approximate time slot or whether those testifying will present on a first-come first serve basis.

•    Arrive early
Bring extra copies of your testimony to distribute to the press and members of committee
While your written testimony may be as long as you like, your presentation should stay within the prescribed limits (usually 3-5 minutes)
State your most important arguments first, in case you run out of time
Be prepared to answer questions from legislators

<< previous page