(Above) A Chicago City Council meeting. Photo by Brooke Collins.
10-Mar-19 Aware that city council committee meetings generally take place when most people are at work, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly has introduced a resolution that would require all meetings to be available online.
The real work of legislating is conducted during committee meetings, wrote Reilly in his March 8 newsletter. Although committee meetings are open to the public, they are held downtown during the workweek, making it difficult for many constituents to take time off work to attend the hearings.
Reilly says broadcasting committee meetings on the internet would make the city council more transparent and accessible and allow Chicagoans to observe, in real time, debate on measures being considered by the city council.
The resolution is co-sponsored by 43 other aldermen, and says Reilly, has the support of the nonprofit investigative organization Better Government Association.
According to the resolution, the city councils sergeant-at-arms would have the authority to terminate the broadcast in the event of an emergency, an act of God, or any other extraordinary event which, in the judgment of sergeant-at-arms, would not reflect the city council proceedings or otherwise not be appropriate for public broadcast.
The resolution will be heard at the March 12 meeting of the Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics.