As part of its Community Action Works webinar series, MASSPIRG is offering a webinar on Making Local Government Meetings Accessible, discussing the legislation to require meetings subject to the open meeting law be offered in a hybrid format with both in-person and remote access and participation available. The webinar is Monday, March 13, 6:00-6:45 PM. RSVP here.
Learn what the proposed law, HD3261/SD2017, covers, how it would affect meetings in your town, and how you can help get it passed. Panelists are:
- Gavi Wolf, Legislative Director, ACLU Massachusetts
- Robert Ambrogi, Executive Director, Massachusetts Newspapers Publishers Association
- Nancy Brumback, Election Laws Legislative Specialist, LWVMA
- Moderated by Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director, MASSPIRG
Since early 2020, in response to the pandemic, the Massachusetts legislature suspended provisions of the open meeting law to enable public bodies to carry out their responsibilities remotely, with virtual access by members of the public. This has led to greater transparency and participation – particularly for people with disabilities, caregiving responsibilities, and limited transportation.
When the temporary suspension expires March 31, we should not regress to in-person meetings only. Nor should we switch exclusively to virtual meetings. It’s time for permanent reform that embraces hybrid meeting practices, expanding transparency and participation for the public and officials alike.