The Sun Chronicle supports more open government meetings

hybrid meetings
TPIN staff | TPIN

The Sun Chronical editorialized in support of more open government meetings.

“The COVID pandemic has forced Americans to think about changes — with their health, their families, their careers.

But an innovation spun out of the health restrictions caused by the virus — allowing the public to interact in local government meetings online — has greatly assisted citizens with access to their municipal government.

We urge the state to make it permanent….

…Eight groups — the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association, the Disability Law Center, the ACLU of Massachusetts, Boston Center for Independent Living, Common Cause Massachusetts, MassPIRG, the New England First Amendment Coalition and the New England Newspaper and Press Association — have joined together to support the effort to make hybrid participation permanent.

The groups argue that remote meetings preserved public bodies’ ability to operate, but also “opened the door to civic engagement for members of the public and many people who had previously been shut out,” including seniors with mobility issues, people with disabilities, parents with young children, people with elder care and adult care responsibilities, people who can’t drive or afford taxis or rideshares, people with chronic medical conditions, and people who just want to know more about their government.

“Remote access is the latest instance of universal design — alongside curb cuts, elevators, closed captioning, audiobooks, and other features — that began as accommodations and expanded to universal popularity,” the groups wrote. “Like these innovations and others emerging during the pandemic, remote access to public meetings should become a permanent feature.”…
…It’s the public’s business, and all members of the public, regardless of restrictions, should be able to engage in it.”

Show More

staff | TPIN

This Earth Day, put our planet over plastic

We are working to move our country beyond plastic — and we need your help. Will you make a gift in honor of Earth Day to help us keep making progress?