Why Speaking at City Commission Meetings Matters

Use your voice to help drive improvements in your community and make it a better place for everyone to live, work, and play.

Attendees at a Fargo City Commission Meeting

If you shout your concerns into the void, will your lawmakers hear you?

Chances are, they won’t. But it might feel great in the moment.

That’s why public forums like city commission meetings with public comment periods are so important. Public comment periods are open to residents who’d like to speak on current issues, share an opinion on local politics, or really anything else — but this function is often overlooked as a tool for changemaking. It can, when used properly, serve as critical tool to advocate for the needs of your community and can help ensure your local government is operating effectively.  

It’s important for people to show up and make their voices heard regularly, not just when the world seems like it’s on fire. If lawmakers aren’t hearing from their constituents, they may assume what they’re doing is adequate.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of why speaking at city commission meetings (or other open forums like them) matters:

  • You can make your voice heard: Participating in city commission meetings allows you to express your opinions and concerns about local issues directly to city officials.
  • You can influence decision-making: Your feedback and input can help inform the city commissioners' decisions on policies, projects, and initiatives that affect your community.
  • You can strengthen democracy: Engagement in local government processes, such as attending and speaking up at city commission meetings, fosters a stronger, more inclusive democracy.
  • You can create positive change: By voicing your concerns and ideas, you can help drive improvements in your community and make it a better place for everyone to live, work, and play.
  • Your voice can empower others: Your active participation can inspire and motivate others to get involved in local politics, leading to a more engaged and well-informed community.

Now, typically there’s a process for signing up to speak, like filling out a form or calling the city commission (also referred to as city council) office to sign up. You may even be able to submit written comments if you can’t attend in person. Check locally and confirm all the details before heading out to your next city commission meeting or other public forum — preparation is key!

Speaking up at city commission meetings and other public forums can be crucial for fostering an active, engaged citizenry that shapes the future of their community together. Share this page with your friends and invite them to go to a meeting with you!

P.S. If you end up attending a meeting, we’d love to hear from you! Share your journey on social media and tag us.