April 30, 2010
Victoria A. Leonard
202.727.8204 (desk) -- 202.403.7866 (cell)
Thomas Launches "Let DC
Speak" Town Hall Meeting in Ward 5
Format Employs Interactive Technology to Obtain
Real-Time Responses from Residents
Washington, D.C. - Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. announced today that he is launching "Let DC Speak"- a series of town hall meetings, starting with "Ward 5 Speaks," that will use interactive Audience Response System (ARS)
software to obtain immediate feedback from residents on budget issues, education reform, and neighborhood concerns. Councilmember Thomas piloted the innovative format at a community meeting held last evening with residents of the Queens Chapel, Michigan Park, and North Michigan Park neighborhoods. More than 75 Ward 5 residents attended and provided their opinions using the interactive polling software.
ARSs enable audiences to share their opinions in meetings or presentations by submitting responses to interactive questions using response keypads. The meeting convener or presenter uses a computer and projector to display presentation slides with questions and several response choices. Audience members participate by selecting the responses that best represent their viewpoints and pushing the corresponding key on their individual wireless keypads. Answers are sent to a base station - or receiver - that is attached to the presenter's computer. The
audience response software collects the results, and the aggregate data is graphically displayed within the presentation for all to see.
"I am not sure how often our residents are consulted real-time for their opinions, expectations and concerns, but it is an approach that I will continue to use and report on," said Councilmember Thomas. "The use of Audience Response Systems is a great way to obtain immediate input from our citizens."
"Tommy" Thomas, Jr. represents Ward 5 on the Council of the District of
Thomas chairs the Council's Committee on Libraries, Parks, and
Recreation. He sits on four additional committees: Workforce Development
and the Environment, Aging and Community Affairs, Housing and Workforce
Development, and Public Services and Consumer Affairs.