City Councilors Lydia Edwards (East Boston, Charlestown, North End) and Liz Breadon (Allston/Brighton) say that letting people testify before city boards remotely has worked so well they want to keep it going even after we return to some pre-pandemic normalcy.
On Wednesday, they will ask the council as a whole to let them formally explore the possibility of retaining remote-access abilities for all City Hall hearings and meetings, in part because most are held during the day and many people who might have something to say can't easily get to City Hall to queue up at a microphone. In their formal request for a hearing on the matter, they write:
Barriers to democratic engagement are substantially lower when residents can participate in open meetings via remote means, making government more effective and accessible to all people and communities
Their proposal would also require all city boards and councils to record their meetings for posterity. In the before times, the city council, the zoning board and the school committee videoed their meetings and posted the recordings on YouTube. Since the move to all remote meetings, virtually all public meetings have been recorded and posted on YouTube.
The council's Wednesday meeting begins at noon.