Public meeting measure defeated

Proposition E, which would have required city public meetings, testimony and comments be accessible through electronic and prerecorded means, was soundly defeated at the polls Tuesday.

The measure grew out of a class taught by San Francisco State University professor David Lee. His students analyzed The City’s public meetings for a class project and found them sparsely attended.

“They found there are many meetings scheduled in the middle of the day in the middle of the work week, with very few students that looked like them,” Lee told the San Francisco Examiner.

With the goal of fostering more participation, Lee and his students authored the Sunshine and Open Government Act of 2015, or Prop. E. It would have meant that all meetings would need to be broadcast online, perhaps also for mobile phones. It was rejected by 67 percent of voters.

A local board, commission or 50 members of the public could have also requested certain agenda items be heard at a certain time under the proposed measure. Citizens would have also been able to submit prerecorded video testimony to be heard live in that meeting.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation supported the measure, as did Doug Chan, who served on the Civil Service Commission.

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