Local advocacy plays a crucial role in shaping the policies and decisions that directly impact your daily life. By participating in the advocacy process, you can help influence decisions that will improve the quality of life in your community. But if you’ve never written an email to a City Council member or made a comment at a local County Council meeting, it can be intimidating to even know where to start.
Best practices when communicating with our City and County Council members:
- Be respectful. Maintain a respectful and courteous tone in your communication. Politeness can go a long way in fostering a positive relationship.
- Get specific. It’s great to talk about why something matters to you, but make sure you make a clear ask of local government officials. For example: I am in favor of using tax dollars to support childcare locally; I support the proposal that was submitted to the County Council.
- Personalize your message. Personal stories are often more memorable than data points. If you’re able to, consider personalizing your message with your thoughts or own story. If you want to keep it brief, use this prompt: “This issue is important to me because…”
- Be succinct. Councilors receive numerous emails and letters, so it’s important to keep your communication concise and to the point.
Ways to advocate to local leaders:
Join a meeting: Park City Council meets every Thursday and Summit County Council meets every Wednesday. Unless otherwise stated, all meetings are open to the public and you can join in person or via Zoom. Public comment is typically taken at each meeting. See details below.
- Summit County Council Meetings
- When: Weekly on Wednesdays; public comment starts at 6 pm
- Where: in person at the Richins Building in Kimball Junction or the County Courthouse in Coalville or via Zoom.
- Notes: Agendas are published usually a week ahead of time here.
- Park City Council Meetings
- When: Weekly on Thursdays at 5:30pm; public comments are taken as each meeting starts.
- Where: City Hall in Park City, check agenda for Zoom link
- Notes: Agendas are listed ahead of the meeting time here.
Write an email: If you want to comment on something that will be included in an upcoming meeting, be sure to send your emails the day before the meeting happens.
A very basic template to help you draft a message.
- I am a constituent
- [Issue] is important to me because…
- Please support [issue] by [proposed solution – funding the proposal, investing in X, etc.]
Other ways to advocate locally:
- Write a letter to editor at the Park Record.
- Talk to your local friends, family and broader network about the issue.
- Find ways to get involved in grassroots efforts or through local nonprofits helping to address the issue in our area.
Local advocacy is a vital component of a thriving community. Remember, change often starts at the local level and your voice matters in shaping your community’s future. And don’t forget to vote! Election day for Park City Municipal and Summit County is November 21. See how Park City Council candidates answered questions about key community issues here.