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Friday, March 18, 2011

YouTube: City Hall Petitioned to Accept Public Comment Via Video

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Wants to make public hearings more unbearable
  • Wants to make public hearings more unbearable

Remember in January when Phil Ting carved out a tiny, tiny place for himself in the mayoral race by protesting Muni parking tickets? We had almost started to forget about Ting again -- until today, when he fired people up with his proposal for City Hall to start taking public comment via YouTube.

Bringing YouTube to City Hall is not a novel idea; we could never forget former Mayor Gavin Newsom's love affair with the video-sharing technology, which he used to record his seven-hour State of the City address.

But Ting, the county's assessor and tax collector, is proposing something that will truly make the public hearings more unbearable.

He quietly launched an online petition yesterday, asking City Hall boards, commissions, and committees to let residents submit public comments with YouTube videos.

The idea of recording your thoughts from the comfort of your own sofa has garnered much support; so far 630 people have signed his petition, which he plans to submit to the Board of Supervisors. 

"We use e-mails and letters, so why not YouTube?" Ting asked.

Right now, he says, most of the public testimony City Hall hears is from the same

1,000 people who come to meetings to lobby for their own self-interest. But what about the average Muni riders, who can't make it to MTA meetings because they are scheduled for midafternoons during the work week?

Ting says people should submit their two-minute videos to the county clerk prior to each meeting. From there, officials could cull through and select a few to air. "We could make it social, so the videos with the most "likes" would be played," he says.

If you would "like" to have an even longer wait to get through public meetings, then sign Ting's petition.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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