Video conferencing technology facilitates communication between remote parties, and some public officials have realized that they can use the communications platform to connect with their constituents. For instance, the Daily Breeze recently reported that Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin conducted a pilot program on July 24 in which residents could participate in civic discussions. Bonin noted that this is a great way to improve access to public meetings for citizens.
"People shouldn't need to take time off work and fight traffic in order to make their voices heard at City Hall. Simple video chat technology will allow people to be more engaged in local government, and we are going to take the first step toward improving access at the Transportation Committee meeting [on July 24]," Bonin said.
The councilman pledged to collaborate with Los Angeles' information technology personnel on how to streamline the use of video conferencing software in committee meetings after the initial test. The staff and Bonin will work to develop best practices for allowing citizens to participate in discussions and submit their concerns to the city council.
This is an example of a city taking a step in the right direction. By capitalizing on digital resources, local officials are ensuring that every citizen's voice can be heard.