Town hall meeting

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A town hall meeting in West Hartford, Connecticut

A town hall meeting is an American term given to an informal public meeting, function, or event derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Typically open to everybody in a town community and held at the local municipal building, attendees generally present ideas, voice their opinions, ask questions of the public figures, elected officials, or political candidates at the town hall.[1][2] Attendees rarely vote on an issue or propose an alternative to a situation. It is not used outside of this secular context.[3]

There have been no specific rules or guidelines for holding a town hall meeting.[3] However, in recent years, town halls held by political candidates have announced and enforced rules on crowd behavior and the scope of questions that may be asked.[1][2]

If the turnout is large, and if the objective of the particular town hall meeting is to give as many people as possible an opportunity to speak, then the attendees can be broken down into smaller discussion groups. Each smaller group, in that case, appoints someone to summarize discussion of their group. Many companies also have such meetings.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Roberts, Robert North; Hammond, Scott John (2012). Presidential Campaigns, Slogans, Issues, and Platforms (2d ed.). ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313380938. 
  2. ^ a b Williamson, Melanie (2010). How to Run for Political Office and Win. Atlantic Publishing Company. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9781601384089. 
  3. ^ a b Bryan, Frank M. (2003). Real Democracy: The New England Town Meeting and How It Works. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226077963. Retrieved 2012-10-25.