How to Testify

Many people have never testified at a County meeting but that has to change. It is only through deliberate actions that rules and laws get changed. We need to speak up during budget talks so that we get our fair share of money spent on our community.

As the old saying goes, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil”, and there are many other communities and businesses, speaking up already.

Every Voice Counts:  Each voice is counted as one vote, so the more people we have singing the same song, the greater influence we will have on our decision-makers.

There are many ways to make your voice heard: Writing letters to council persons and various committees, and submitting written testimony to specific public meetings, and testifying in person.  Testimony is usually limited to 3 minutes. But sometimes it can be shorter if you want. What matters is that you show up, say your name, and ask for what you want. You usually have to say if you are testifying in support of an issue, or against it.  And that is it. Just speak your truth from your heart and share your experiences. Because your story matters.

During Covid, it is possible to testify by Phone, or Online. So it couldn’t be easier.

Get Notified about County Agendas: To get notified of upcoming Agenda Items, go to this page and sign up with your email: http://mauicounty.us/agendas/

Instructions for testifying are on the top of each Agenda: 

EXAMPLE TESTIMONY LETTER (You can use this as a template for writing testimony letters). Please note, your testimony can be “in support of” or “against” a bill. It is important to make that clear.  

county.clerk@mauicounty.us

Testimony in Support of [ bill entitled MORATORIUM ON VISITOR ACCOMMODATIONS DEVELOPMENT IN WEST MAUI AND SOUTH MAUI ]

Dear Council Persons, my name is [Your Name],

I am a [ example, “Kihei” ]  resident, and I am not a paid lobbyist. I support the [ example “Moratorium on Visitor Accommodations Development” ].

I Support this Bill because [ Insert your text here:  (example, “South Maui’s population is growing, and tourism is expanding beyond our ability to handle it. Many people have been calling for better-managed tourism, and placing caps on tourism has been discussed. There is overcrowding on our beaches, and traffic problems in these areas.) ]

Please  [ “support” ] this [ agenda title: (example, “Moratorium on Visitor Accommodation) ], and [ optional comment: (example “help put a stop the devastating effects of overdevelopment and uncontrolled tourism”).]

Regards,

[ Your Name ]

You can also testify By Phone:

When Testifying by Phone, Live, or Online, just follow the same format as the testimony Letter above:  Introduce yourself, say if you are a paid lobbyist or not, and state if you “Support” or are “Against” and item,  and then give your reasons, at the end say “thank you for hearing my testimony”.  And you are done. Just remember that you only have about three minutes, so try to keep it short and to the point.

For more information on using the BlueJeans app to give live testimony go to this page: 

http://mauicounty.us/testify-with-bluejeans-events/