Camille Crittenden: Keep Public Meetings Open Through Technology

29 Jul, 2021

Camille Crittenden: Keep Public Meetings Open Through Technology

Camille Crittenden, Executive Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, published "California: Keep Public Meetings Open Through Technology" on the Berkeley Blog. This important call to amend the Bagley-Keen acts argues that technologies will make meetings more accessible and allow for greater civic engagement.

From the article:

Over the past pandemic year, life events and activities have moved online that we once believed must be held in person: weddings, classes, conferences, cocktail parties. Many aspects of government business also transitioned from requiring a presence in person to being facilitated through online platforms. California’s open meeting laws inscribed in the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act of 1967 mandates that all meetings of State boards and commissions be open and accessible to the public, with agendas posted well in advance. It provides for remote participation via “teleconference” but requires that each location, including a member’s private home or office, be open and accessible to the public for the occasion. While these regulations intend to ensure that the State’s activities are transparent to its constituents, they actually restrict access to those members of the public with the time and financial resources to attend meetings in person. Now is the time to change these rules to consider the affordances of 21st-century technology.

Read the article here!