Read the original article by The Republican's Pete Goonan here.
SPRINGFIELD — City officials are planning a televised virtual “Town Hall” meeting to discuss local coronavirus resources and responses.
The discussion, scheduled for Tuesday, April 14 at 6 p.m., will include questions submitted in advance by the public. The event will be broadcast live online by Focus Springfield Community TV, and on Springfield Comcast television Government Channel 17.
“During this difficult time it is more important than ever for local government to be accessible and transparent,” said at-large Councilor Jesse Lederman, who organized the meeting. “We know that many of our neighbors are experiencing uncertainty and hardship as a result of this pandemic, and we know it can be overwhelming to navigate the system.”
Officials planning to participate in the forum include Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen R. Caulton Harris and Springfield Chief Development Officer Timothy Sheehan.
They and other participants will share information on the municipal response to COVID-19, and “best practices to stay safe and healthy, access to medical care, resources available to support workers and businesses, information on food security and access to nutrition, details on benefits for those financially impacted by the pandemic including unemployment, and information for homeowners and renters who have been financially impacted by the pandemic,” Lederman said.
Others planning to participate include Jessica Collins, executive director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, lawyer Mary Johnson, of the Central West Justice Center, Andrew Morehouse, executive director of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; and Rose Webster-Smith, of Springfield No One Leaves.
"We want our community to know that there is help out there, and it is also important for us to hear directly from our community about the challenges they are facing,” Lederman said.
To promote safety, "we are bringing the town hall experience to the people in their homes,” Lederman said.
The meeting can be found online at focusspringfield.com/townhall/, and on Lederman’s Facebook page at facebook.com/JLLederman, or on Channel 17.
Those who wish to submit questions, concerns and ideas in advance are asked to do so by Sunday at jesseforspringfield.com/virtualtownhall