by Jessee Perry
I stumbled across this 2014 Municipal Meeting Survival Guide written as a general article by a Richmond native.
I would add that the number 1 rule in attending Municipal Meetings is show up or tune in. This is your government and being in tune with what is going on and voicing your opinion help make the government work. In addition, there are a couple of items I would add to be specific to Richmond meetings:
- Hashtags: #RVACouncil #RVAMayor #RPSBoard
- Phone Charging: This is of paramount importance! All too often I have been part of team 1% battery life way too early in the meeting. Besides, if your phone dies, you can't tweet back at us and talk about the meeting while it is happening!
- Agendas: They normally have 20-30 copies of the agendas available at the meetings but those run out quickly. Either have it readily available on your phone or print your own copy. The meeting is a lot easier to follow if you have this information at your fingertips. Click here to go to the #RVACouncil and #RPSBoard agendas.
- Food: No matter how many times we tweet at the council people, there are no plans to add a concession stand in Council Chambers. Meetings start at 6PM and go until they are over so it is crucial to make sure you eat well before you go. There are signs posted on Council Chambers saying no food or drink so if you're a rule breaker, you'll need to be super stealthy.
- Public Comment Period: If you want to speak in front of Council during public comment, you need to be aware that they ask everyone to get in line who is on one side of the discussion. This means you could be standing in line for a looooong time. Wear comfy shoes and stretch. Also, you only have 2 minutes so it may be helpful to bring paper and a pen to jot down some notes before you go up to keep focused on your message.
Looking forward to seeing you City Hall!