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Government Engagement Through Virtual Town Halls During COVID-19

Case Study Last Reviewed: June 4, 2020

Local jurisdictions held virtual town halls during the COVID-19 pandemic to gather community concerns that would inform response efforts.

The following is a list of key findings and considerations for jurisdictions and communities regarding ongoing COVID-19 operations across the country. These are best practices for consideration and do not constitute and should not be considered as guidance in any way.

This document contains references and links to non-federal resources and organizations. This information is meant solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be an endorsement of any non-federal entity by FEMA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or the U.S. government.

Potential Best Practices

  • Many cities have held virtual town halls for communities to learn about the resources and assistance available for residents during the pandemic.
    • Olympia City Council in Washington State hosted a series of weekly virtual town hall meetings to discuss financial resources for individuals and local businesses, housing and homeless services, and rental and mortgage relief. During the meetings, the public submitted questions in real-time through a moderator.
    • In Austin, Texas, the COVID-19 Response Alliance Virtual Town Hall Meeting focused on a discussion of community needs, e.g., health, employment, mobility, internet connection, and an interactive workshop where participants collaborated to match existing resources with rapidly developing needs.
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Last updated February 2, 2021