9 votes

Town Meeting

4 comments

  1. [4]
    determinism
    Link
    I was listening to a radio program this morning about Town Meeting which is apparently a thing that still exists in some of the Northeastern US states. I'm from the Midwest and had no idea that...

    I was listening to a radio program this morning about Town Meeting which is apparently a thing that still exists in some of the Northeastern US states.

    A town meeting is a form of direct democratic rule in which most or all the members of a community come together to legislate policy and budgets for local government. This is a town- or city-level meeting where decisions are made, in contrast with town hall meetings held by state and national politicians to answer questions from their constituents, which have no decision-making power.

    Town meetings have been used in portions of the United States – principally in New England – since the 17th century.

    I'm from the Midwest and had no idea that this kind of direct democracy existed in the United States at any level outside of intentional communities or communes. I visited Acadia National Park last year and it was the first time going beyond Connecticut - I remembered noticing several of the small towns had buildings that appeared to be community gathering spaces but I just assumed they were some kind of recreational or senior centers.

    I'm curious if anyone on Tildes has participated in these kinds of meetings or lived in a town where they take place.

    8 votes
    1. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      I originally learned about it via the Gilmore Girls, where it plays a role in several episodes.

      I originally learned about it via the Gilmore Girls, where it plays a role in several episodes.

      4 votes
    2. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      There's a documentary called Welcome to Leith about neo-Nazis who move to a small town in hopes of setting up their own enclave there. Part of the film focuses on the actions of the people already...

      There's a documentary called Welcome to Leith about neo-Nazis who move to a small town in hopes of setting up their own enclave there. Part of the film focuses on the actions of the people already living in the town who try to stop them from taking over -- a process which involves several town meetings.

      It's been a while since I've seen the film so I don't know if they are exact examples of this (they might just be more "concerned citizens"-type gatherings) but I figured I'd mention it here in case it's relevant to what you're looking for.

      3 votes
    3. matteron
      Link Parent
      I wonder if there's enough data available to see if there's a correlation between towns that practice this and their general content with how the government is handling things. I'm from CT and...

      I wonder if there's enough data available to see if there's a correlation between towns that practice this and their general content with how the government is handling things.

      I'm from CT and I've never once heard about Town Meetings taking place.

      2 votes