Blumenfield Moves to Bring Virtual Participation to Los Angeles City Council

Virtual participation would allow a wider swath of Angelenos to engage in the process of governing, while taking cars off the roads.

LOS ANGELES – Continuing to find new ways to maximize the use of technology to make government more accessible, effective and efficient, Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today introduced a measure to allow residents and stakeholders to participate in Council committee meetings remotely.

“This is a prime example of an easy way we can use existing technology to increase government openness and accountability,” said Blumenfield. “For my constituents in the West Valley and many Angelenos across the City, a trip downtown in the middle of the workday is simply not feasible. Virtual public testimony would open the process up to many who otherwise would not be able to participate.”

Currently, if members of the public wish to provide comments on a particular subject before any of the 15 City Council policy committees, they must attend the meeting and provide their comments in person.

Today’s measure would also direct the City to explore the available options and capabilities for allowing live webcasting of Council committee meetings. Currently, committee meetings are only available as on-demand audio or through CityFone .

“Policy debates at City Hall must happen in full view of the public and with maximum public participation. This measure will bring new and valuable points of view into the process while increasing government transparency,” concluded Blumenfield.

The measure was introduced following a discussion on the issue held at Tuesday’s inaugural meeting of the Innovation, Technology, and General Services Committee, which Blumenfield chairs.

Blumenfield has previously introduced a measure that would implement a municipal WiFi initiative citywide. When completed, Los Angeles would be the largest city in the United States with free universal access to WiFi.

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