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Want to speak at an MVLA board meeting? You'll need to show up in person

Original post made on Sep 7, 2021

The Zoom era is over for the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District's board. The district is running in-person school board meetings this fall and requiring the public to show up if they have something to say to the board.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 7, 2021, 1:30 PM

Comments (8)

Posted by sarahdox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 7, 2021 at 2:38 pm

sarahdox is a registered user.

Forcing members of the public to appear in person to provide input seems counter to efforts to support cleaner air and climate issues. It is also a way to discourage active participation. There is no indication that remote observers’ in-meeting email will be seen by anyone except the recipient; public comments made during a remote-enabled meeting can be seen by all. This seems a backwards step - away from engaging the public in favor of limiting participation and impact. We live in a changed environment; mixing remote and in-person participation allows many more folks to be aware of issues and to contribute to discussion. Oh, perhaps participation isn’t really wanted? This bears watching.

Posted by vsms
a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 7, 2021 at 3:03 pm

vsms is a registered user.

I think it makes sense. What is to prevent people who have no stake in our community from joining a board meeting via Zoom and derail the agenda by drowning out voices? We're all seeing how board meetings are playing out everywhere -- dominated by the vocal minority.

Posted by gretchen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 7, 2021 at 3:16 pm

gretchen is a registered user.

Being elderly, unable to drive at night, and immune compromised, I have reveled in being able to have real civic engagement in the past year. I guess the board only wants engagement from the able bodied well.

Posted by minor character
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 7, 2021 at 3:26 pm

minor character is a registered user.

Removing remote public comment makes little sense. Why call the old way the "normal" we want to go back to, when a more accessible engagement model showed a way that the new normal could be better?

Posted by Miriam
a resident of Rex Manor
on Sep 7, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Miriam is a registered user.

I would love for the public to continue to have the option to deliver live comments remotely, across our local governing bodies, at least until we are truly out of the woods with COVID. Permanently would be even better. I sent an email to the board for the last meeting as I was not comfortable attending in person. The only acknowledgment was a statement in the meeting that the board had received an email on the topic. I don't know if the contents of my comment will be read by the board; it certainly didn't have the impact that a live public comment has.

Posted by bkengland
a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 7, 2021 at 3:49 pm

bkengland is a registered user.

This decision tells district students to not take climate change seriously. I trust the teachers will have a way to explain to their students why such a blinders-on big step backwards move occurred. Yes, also a step backwards for the democratic process.

Posted by SRB
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 7, 2021 at 4:27 pm

SRB is a registered user.

Glad that boards and councils will be sitting back in the same room. For in person or virtual public commenters, it's important to be able to see the whole board and have their undivided attention (no side communications text, email....).

@MVVoice it would be nice to have hard data points to show how much more and more diverse public engagement there is (or isn't) with zoom meetings vs. in person meetings.

Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 7, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Steven Nelson is a registered user.

The MVLA district has AT LEAST improved by now having their meetings 'live cast' via YouTube. In the past it was almost impossible to understand who was talking (on the after-the-fact-audio-only-recordings). What does Fiona Walker sound like, Phil F. vs. another male?

MVLA and particurly it's Board President is not particularly known for being 'first' in easy public participation. The MVWSD has led the three local districts (thanks be to Trustee Christopher Chiang) in easy public video access even 5 years before the Pandemic lockdowns.

Advice - Listen and Watch what is going on at MVLA meeting YouTube- and get ready to 'jump in the car/call Uber' to make it in time for the next agenda item / that you really want to 'talk to'.

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