Voters in St. George Gather at First-Ever Meetup
"Have you ever been to a political event like this before?"
"Has there ever been a political event like this, anywhere?"
On April 25, 2018, the first of a series of unique political gatherings was hosted by the Jan Garbett for Congress campaign at Corporate Alliance's St. George offices on Silicon Way. Called a Voice of the People Meetup, this two-hour participatory event broke the usual protocol for a campaign meeting.
Garbett and her campaign team deliberately designed an interactive meeting where her constituents could share their concerns with her—and with each other. Topics that were addressed included both national issues and concerns specific to residents of St. George. Attendees were encourages to look both at the similarities in their thoughts as well as the differences.
This is what some of the participants had to say about this "pretty unique" meetup.
"It was great to hear the opinions and thoughts of your fellow [citizens]."
"It's really incredible to be able to come together in this type of a setting where we can talk with other people and find out what the issues are and not just be told what we should think or believe. I really liked that opportunity to discuss with other people and get to know what other people are thinking."
"[R]ather than just listening to someone speak to us, we got to participate, express our opinions and our views and our desires for things to happen in our country."
Some attendees acknowledged that the kind of format that the Jan Garbett for Congress meetups uses will stretch people outside of their comfort zones, but they also noted that the format also helps create a safe environment for people to share.
Garbett's intent with these meetups is not to come quickly to solutions, but to give people the opportunity to have their voice be part of the political process and to practice listening to others.
"Politics currently divide people. I believe it will take our congressional representatives and citizens working with each other rather than against each other to uncover the solutions we so intently desire. At these meetups, I want to give people the opportunity to experience something different than the usual pendulum politics. This is what my campaign is all about."
Click here for a list of upcoming meetups, and register for one in your area.