The Journal Square Community Association is asking for the Jersey City Council meetings to switch to a hybrid format that includes live streaming, though it remains unclear if that will happen or not.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Over the past two years, as residents had to retreat under Covid-19 restrictions, we witnessed Jersey City residents become more engaged in their community. While the pandemic created many disruptions, it has also ushered in new approaches that have fostered greater civic engagement,” the nine-member JSQCA board wrote to the mayor and city council last week.
“Several City Council meetings have seen hundreds of speakers calling in to speak on topics as varied as housing, policing, and our city budget. As we look to shape our new normal, all of the gains that have been made during the pandemic cannot be undone.”
The letter also points out that neighboring cities such as Newark and Hoboken have been live streaming their meetings since the pandemic began and Jersey City, who halted remote meetings in January in favor of a return to standard meetings in person, should follow suit.
Furthermore, the letter says that hybrid meetings would allow working families and people with disabilities the opportunity to participate.
On Monday following a press conference promoting restaurant week, Mayor Steven Fulop told HCV that he was in support of hybrid meetings, but that call ultimately lies with the city council, particularly the council president.
“I am always for more transparency, I don’t know where the technology stands on the local level, but it’s ultimately a decision from the city council and the council president – that’s not a decision that I make,” he explained.
“I believe there’s communication with council president to get it to a place where she feels comfortable, but I’m always in favor of transparency but it’s ultimately the city council’s decision: more people involved is a good thing.”
Council President Joyce Watterman did not immediately return a call or text message seeking comment this morning.
Editor’s note: News correspondent Daniel Ulloa contributed to this report.