February 23, 2024

How To Give Public Comment to Bangor City Council

Bangor City Council Meetings are a great opportunity to make your voice heard about the issues in our city you care about the most. Whether you are an experienced public speaker or new to civic engagement, there are a few things you can do to make your testimony as effective and impactful as possible.

The Benefits of Public Comment

  • It allows you to share your thoughts and concerns with your elected officials. This is a great way to make sure that your voice is heard.
  • It can help to influence the decisions that are made by the city council. If enough people testify about an issue, the city council may be more likely to take action on it.
  • It can help to create a sense of community among the people who live in Bangor. When people come together to testify about an issue, it shows that they are concerned about their community and want to make a difference.

Tips for Speaking

  1. Prepare your remarks in advance. Take some time to think about what you want to say and why it matters. You’ll have three minutes to speak. It’s important to prepare your comments in advance so that you can make the most of your time.
  2. Focus your statement. What is the problem? What do you want the city council to do about it?
  3. Use personal stories and examples. This is completely optional, but if you have a personal connection to the issue you’re speaking about, consider sharing your story. Personal stories and examples can be a powerful way to illustrate the impact of an issue on individuals and families. This can help the City Council understand the real-life impact of their decisions.
  4. When it’s your turn to speak, start by giving your name and your address. Bangor City Council rules state that everyone who addresses the Council must state their first and last name, and their address.
  5. Be respectful. Even if you disagree with your elected officials, it is important to be respectful of them when giving public comment. Avoid personal attacks and name-calling. The Chairperson of the Council can remove your comments if they are deemed offensive or inappropriate.
  6. Follow up with City Council. Send them an email at councilors@bangormaine.gov or call them at 207-992-4205 to reiterate the importance of the issue you came to speak about.

Crafting Your Statement – I’m Here to Help

It can be difficult to choose the right words for something your heart knows so well. Your voice is important, and your community needs to hear from you. If you’d like help with your statement, I’d be happy to help. Whether it’s just proofreading and giving feedback or taking what’s most important to you and writing a draft statement for your review, I’m happy to help. Click here to contact me and let’s get started.

Below are some examples of things people might say to Bangor City Council. Use them for inspiration or change them up and make them your own. The important thing is to show up and speak up.

Example Statement #1

“Hello, my name is [Name] and I live at [Address]. I am here tonight to urge the Bangor City Council to invest ARPA funds into housing, substance use disorder, and mental health initiatives. As a resident of this community, I have seen firsthand the impact of these issues on individuals and families.

Many people in Bangor are struggling to find safe and affordable housing, which can lead to a range of negative outcomes, including homelessness, instability, and poor health. By investing in housing initiatives, we can help ensure that everyone in our community has a stable and secure place to call home.

Substance use disorder and mental health are also critical issues that require attention and resources. Too many people in our community are struggling with addiction, depression, and other mental health challenges, and they need our support. By investing in programs and services that address these issues, we can help people get the care they need and improve their quality of life.

I urge the Bangor City Council to prioritize these issues in the allocation of ARPA funds. Our community is counting on you to make the right choices and invest in the well-being of all residents. Thank you for your time.”

Example Statement #2

“Good evening, my name is [Name] and my address is [Address]. I would like to take a moment to address the mental health crisis that is affecting our community. As we all know, mental health is an essential part of overall health and wellbeing, and it is crucial that we take steps to address this crisis.

In Bangor, we have seen a significant increase in mental health issues, particularly among young people, over the past few years. This includes a rise in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide rates. We cannot ignore this crisis, and we must take action to support those who are struggling.

As a community, we need to prioritize mental health and invest in resources that can help prevent and treat mental illness. This includes providing access to affordable mental health services, promoting awareness and education about mental health, and addressing the root causes of mental health issues, such as poverty, social isolation, and trauma.

We also need to destigmatize mental illness and promote a culture of acceptance and understanding. We need to encourage people to seek help when they need it and provide a safe and supportive environment for those who are struggling.

I urge the Bangor City Council to take this crisis seriously and prioritize mental health in our community. Let’s work together to provide the resources and support that our community needs to thrive.

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.”

Example Statement #3

“Hello, my name is [Name] and I reside at [Address]. I am here today to address the critical issue of the housing crisis in our community. The lack of affordable housing has become a significant problem in Bangor, and it’s affecting the lives of many people, including low-income families, students, and seniors.

The shortage of affordable housing has led to a surge in homelessness, overcrowding, and displacement, which is detrimental to the health, well-being, and stability of individuals and families. People are forced to choose between paying rent and other basic needs like food, healthcare, and education. It’s unacceptable that people in our community cannot afford safe and decent housing.

We need to take urgent action to address the housing crisis in Bangor. This includes investing in affordable housing projects, incentivizing developers to build affordable housing units, and promoting policies that protect tenants’ rights and prevent displacement.

We also need to ensure that people who are experiencing homelessness have access to emergency shelter, support services, and pathways to permanent housing. Homelessness is a complex issue, and we need a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes, including poverty, mental illness, and substance abuse.

I urge the Bangor City Council to prioritize the housing crisis in our community and take bold steps to solve this problem. We need to work together to ensure that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and stable housing. Thank you for your time and consideration.”