AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin says individuals who want to participate in the local democratic process can now provide public comment remotely via phone. Public participants can now register in advance if they would like to take part over the phone.
It is part of renewed efforts to open city government to more people who might otherwise struggle to attend a public meeting in person, according to a press release from the city.
Remote participation has been an option for regular meetings of the Austin City Council since early in the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Austin has now decided to extend this option to include the 70 or so Boards and Commissions that form a crucial part of local decision-making.
"These reforms, which provide many more people the flexibility to join meetings remotely, demonstrate our commitment to adapting to the needs of our community," said City Clerk Myrna Rios. "Offering hybrid meetings is a welcome transition especially for the Boards and Commissions that faced challenges meeting consistently during the pandemic. With more options now available, we look forward to increased public participation contributing to future meeting successes."
Residents in Austin who want to participate in the local democratic process are being offered new ways to get involved in an effort to increase public participation. (FOX 7 Austin)
Speakers may register to speak either in-person or remotely, and are allowed up to three minutes to provide their comments, according to the City of Austin.
For remote participation, registration no later than noon the day before the meeting is required. Individuals can register by contacting the respective staff liaison, whose details are included on the meeting agenda.