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Restoring Rights to Unfranchised Community Members

Photo by Chris Montgomery, Unsplash

California State Senate Bill 411, which would allow neighborhood council meetings to be

held with a virtual option (such as Zoom) passed earlier this year. However, there is a

catch: neighborhood councils have to individually approve whether to use the

teleconferencing option with a two-thirds majority vote. Councils may choose either an inperson or teleconferencing option. They may also opt for "hybrid" meetings offering

attendees in-person or online access. As yet, the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council has

not voted to allow or disallow access with a virtual option.

For several months, SLT advocates have reached out to L.A.’s Department of Disability

urging them to take a stand in favor of providing access to people who have a disability,

such as an immunocompromised condition, which prevents them from participating in city

meetings that only provide in-person attendance. Regrettably, the department has not

issued a ruling in favor of those who are unfranchised by in-person-only meetings. We

urge readers to contact their local neighborhood council and ask them to vote to allow all

residents and stakeholders the right to take part in their government meetings.

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