Story Bank Submittals

by Shaida Libhart, Legislative Affairs Representative and Committee Co-Chair

Everyone gather around, it’s story time! OK, it is not story time like that, but we do want to discuss stories and how we are working to more fully develop our story telling capabilities. If you have attended a presentation led by the Legislative Committee over the past couple of years, you have undoubtedly heard us discuss stories, and our desire to develop a Story Bank that we can draw from as we discuss legislation with our legislators. If you haven’t seen one of our presentations, you may be wondering why we are discussing stories. Let’s start with some figures. Research shows that 70 percent of learning is through story telling. We first learned this through the use of word problems in elementary school math class, but we continue to learn from stories as adults. Additionally, stories are 22 times more memorable than facts.

While it is still important for us to be able to come to any conversation with facts (55 percent of the residents in this district qualify for affordable housing or 98 percent of U.S. commuters support transit for others [Onion, 2000]), it is also important to humanize these figures with stories from local constituents. These stories can be from local community members, from planners who have first-hand knowledge a specific story or who can discuss stories that they experience in their role as planners each day. Stories should show a need that is not being met, or a benefit due to an improvement that has been made. Stories help us personalize the facts and figures and they help legislators to prove that there is a need in their district and shows how a new piece of legislation will help their constituents.

Help us tell your community’s stories,

Photo 1 by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash


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