More on the Reform Alliance town hall meeting


(UPDATED -- see note at the end of the entry.)

In my earlier entry, I guessed that there were about 2,000 at last night's town hall meeting on the Civic Center Plaza. This morning's Whirled's story claimed the number was 300, but we had at least that many packed into Aaronson Auditorium at 5:45 p.m. when it was decided to move up to the plaza, something that the Whirled's reporter must have observed as she tried to find her way into the room through the crowd at that time. Far more were up on the plaza already, and people kept arriving as the 6 p.m. start time approached. A teacher at the event told KFAQ that she sent out several people to count the crowd, and that they counted just shy of 3,000. I was told that someone with the library estimated 2,500. Obviously, it's in the Whirled's interest to downplay the rally and the strong show of support.

KFAQ has a story about the event on its homepage, headlined "Taking Back Tulsa". There's a slideshow hotlinked from the page. (The link doesn't work in Mozilla -- you can get straight to start of the slideshow here.) There are some great shots of the creative signs people brought to the event.

MORE: Although I take great exception to his characterization of Michael DelGiorno, "Average Joe" has a great summary of the event over in the Tulsa Now forums, and you'll find it here. He's been skeptical and critical of the Reform Alliance, but he clearly gained some insight from attending last night's event.

If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to register (it's free) and participate in the conversation.

UPDATE 10:00 pm: I am informed that the Whirled's estimate came from a fire marshal and a library official, that they have these estimates on tape, and that the fire marshal's count was taken as Chris Medlock concluded his remarks on the plaza. I am also told that there were only 147 chairs in Aaronson Auditorium, which would mean that fewer than 300 were in the room before we moved up to the plaza.

My point in what I wrote above was not to accuse the Whirled's reporter of deliberately low-balling the attendance, which I don't believe she would do -- although I could believe that higher-ups at the Whirled might -- but to say that with the crowd already present in Aaronson when she arrived about 5:45, a final, maximum crowd estimate of 300 doesn't pass the common-sense test. I've changed my first paragraph to clarify that. I do find it hard to believe that the number present on the plaza during the heart of the event was almost identical to the number present 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the event. As we moved upstairs, there were people on the plaza who hadn't yet made their way downstairs, and more who arrived before and after things got underway at about 6:10, as it took time for people to find a parking spot and make their way to the plaza.

I misunderstood the source of the estimates of 2,500 and 3,000, which I have second-hand, and I've corrected and clarified the first paragraph above to reflect that. I hope to be able to track the estimates back to the original source.

Whatever the actual number, it was a strong turnout, and it reflected the diversity of Tulsa's citizens.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 30, 2004 8:57 AM.

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Reform Alliance Town Hall: Part 2 is the next entry in this blog.

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