Springfield City Council welcomes technology upgrades (The Reminder)
Read the original story from The Reminder here.
SPRINGFIELD — Several technology upgrades to Springfield City Council operations have been made with the help of President Jesse Lederman.
The upgrades include hybrid meeting technology for City Council subcommittees, online sign-up forms for public speak out and virtual committee meetings, along with updates to the social media pages.
Lederman’s goal with these upgrades is to make local government accessible and engaging for its constituents.
During the coronavirus pandemic, all operations moved online. Lederman said this gave benefit to virtual participation and attracted more people as residents were able to watch meetings from the comfort of their homes.
Now that in-person meetings have returned, Lederman did not want to lose that participation, so he established a remote option for those who would like to tune in virtually.
One year later, Lederman is spearheading more technology updates.
“City Council subcommittee meetings can now take place in a hybrid format, allowing for both in-person and virtual participation,” said Lederman in a written statement. “The City Council subcommittee meeting room has been equipped with a monitor and state-of-the art video conference camera that allows for seamless interaction between in-person and virtual participants.”
The upgrades will also ensure all meetings that take place in the subcommittee meeting room are recorded and posted for the public to view at any time.
Lederman noted that regular meetings and hearings of the City Council will continue to take place in the City Council Chamber. The meetings are also live streamed on the Springfield Municipal Meetings YouTube page as well as Springfield Cable Public Access Channel 17. All City Council meetings are available for playback on YouTube at youtube.com/@SpringfieldMunicipalMeetings.
People interested in participating virtually in subcommittee meetings or addressing the City Council at the public speak out sessions ahead of regular meetings – in-person or virtually – can sign up online through the city of Springfield’s website.
The public speak out sign up form can be found by visiting springfield-ma.gov/cos/council/public-speak-out.
The virtual subcommittee participation form can be found at springfield-ma.gov/cos/council/virtual-public-meeting.
The calendar with upcoming Springfield City Council regular meetings, hearings and subcommittee meetings can be found at springfieldcityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx.
Lastly, Lederman said the updated social media pages are live. For City Council updates and announcements, find it on Facebook at facebook.com/springfieldmacitycouncil or on Twitter, @SpfldCouncil.
“I am thankful to our partners at Focus Springfield Community Television, City Clerk Gladys Oyola-Lopez, the Springfield [Information Technology] Department and our City Council staff for their assistance in implementing these upgrades for the benefit of the community we serve together,” Lederman said.
Lederman also appointed the Working Group on Civic Engagement to make recommendations on how to make local government more accessible. The recommendations from that group assisted in the technology upgrades announced by Lederman.