Friday’s News and Messenger reports that about 1400 people took part in the Miller Tele-town Meeting that we reported last week. The meeting got over all excellent approval ratings, especially from the delegate himself:
He [Miller] was pleased at the results.
“I enjoyed doing it. I got a great response form (sic) the community. I’ve been getting e-mails and calls since from people saying, ‘ This is a great idea. I had no idea what you do in Richmond,'” Miller said.
People also like being involved, he said.
“It allows people to actually participate like they were at a town hall meeting,” Miller said.
To get the giant telephone conference call going, Miller sent out automated calls to a list of registered voters telling them that he was about to hold the tele-town-hall meeting.
People who were interested stayed on the line.
Miller said the telephonic forum gives him a rare chance to get in touch with large numbers of his constituents, and those numbers far surpass what a regular, in-person, town hall style meeting would draw.
“The best I’ve had is probably 15 or 20,” Miller said of the regular meetings he’s held.
Miller said it’s hard to get his message out in the Washington area, where national news dominates.
“We’re right under the shadow of the federal government,” Miller said. “When you come from our area, it’s so hard to communicate what’s going on at the state level.”
The telephone meetings get around that and go directly to the voters, Miller said.
“It’s a good way for me to reach out to my constituents to let them know what’s going on in Richmond,” he said.
Miller said illegal immigration, tobacco, smoking in restaurants, education, insurance, health care and gun control were among the topics people raised during his recent tele-town-hall meeting, which lasted slightly more than an hour.
Still, Miller doesn’t think that telephone calls, no matter how many he does at one time, can ever take the place of face-to-face contact with constituents.
It took the News and Messenger about a week to report this Tele-town Meeting. I am glad they finally got around to it because I had a lot of questions about the technology and its implementation.
Delegate Miller is to be commended for good use of technology to reach out to as many of his constituents as possible 1400 sure beats 15-20 any day of the week. Furthermore, it is probably the same 15-20 that usually go to his in-person town meetings.
Hopefully, he will continue to use technology to meet and greet the residents of the 50th State Delegate District. The more people who know what is going on in Richmond, the better off we will all be here in the 50th district.