Public hearings give you an opportunity to express your opinion on an issue in a formal way to the deciding committee or governing body. Offering oral testimony is the most powerful way to present testimony. Even if you plan to speak at the hearing, you should submit written testimony in case time runs out for speakers at the hearing.
Download the Advocate's Guide to Written and Oral Testimony handout.
Written testimony should be no longer than one page and limited to one bill or issue. Always be polite and positive and do not attack or threaten a government official.
1. Fill out a speaker's request form. Submit it to the committee clerk before the hearing starts.
2. Pay close attention to the hearing. It is common for legislators to enter and leave during hearings, but you should pay attention so that you can modify your testimony.
3. Deliver Your Oral Testimony. The clerk will call you to testify. At the podium, there might be a system of lights to help you stay within the time limit (Green, good; yellow, 1-minute left; red, stop). It is always best end on time.
State your name for the record, then "I am a manager/resident/attorney in a/for community association(s) and I am a member of CAI."
If no one has described CAI, do so briefly. "CAI is a 40,000-member, international organization dedicated to building better communities through education and advocacy."