Public Forum

At our Council meeting last night, I voted against a motion to move the public forum to the end of our meeting. This motion may come as a surprise to the many residents who know that the entire Council started our term by placing public forum first on our agenda as a way to prioritize the voice of the people. We wanted to hear from you, increase civic engagement and be certain you feel valued.

It was stated by the Council President that it was public forum which stopped us from doing business on February 7th. That’s just simply false. The number of residents in attendance exceeded fire code capacity and that is why the meeting could not continue. Public Forum placement was irrelevant. 

It is crucial for residents of Richmond to have open lines of communication with their elected officials. There are many who prefer to email or call Council Members, but there are many who prefer to make their statements in public and on the record. All voices matter.

However, I’d also ask for respectful exchanges from all involved parties. It is inappropriate to shout out or to mouth directives to Council Members. This sort of behavior is disruptive to everyone in the room. If you have something to say, please go through the proper channels. I want to hear from all of you and give you my undivided attention. 

Public Forum is an important part of public service, we were elected to work for you, but council and the public must both work together, be respectful and keep it civil.

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