[From a press release]
Providence City Council President David Salvatore launched the Providence City Council’s Be Heard PVD campaign. The campaign is designed to expand community access to and participation in Council-led public hearings by broadening outreach and notification to constituents.
“The City Council holds several public hearings each year, but often I only hear from residents after the fact,” said Salvatore. “They frequently tell me they were not notified or didn’t know it was happening. Although the City follows all state and city statutes to notify the public about hearings, we can do better, and that is what Be Heard PVD is about. I hope that our colleagues throughout the City will follow suit and also examine how they are notifying residents of important community conversations and public hearings.”
The Be Heard PVD campaign is a multi-platform approach to notifying residents about Council-led public hearings. It includes the use of social media, the City Council website, print advertising, media advisories, and other technologies.
“We live in the 21st century, yet we are using 20th-century communication outlets to notify residents about these hearings,” continued Salvatore. “Our constituents deserve to be heard, and they cannot do that if they aren’t aware they have the chance.”
Community members may be notified about public hearings by following the campaign on Twitter at @BeHeardPVD and Facebook at @BeHeardPVD for notices of public hearings and other information relating to City Council-led meetings. These channels will only have information regarding public hearings or Council-led meetings. For information about City Council events, please follow along on Twitter @ProvCityCouncil and Facebook at @ProvCityCouncil.
Constituents who are unable to attend a public hearing can provide written testimony by mail or email to Lori L. Hagen, City Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org or City Clerk, 25 Dorrance Street, Room 311, Providence, RI 02903. (Please note, if you submit written testimony you are not required to appear or read your testimony at the public hearing.)
In 2013, the City Council launched the Providence City Open Meetings Portal to make access to meeting notices, searching agenda items, and viewing attendance and voting records for the City Council and its boards and commissions much easier for constituents. It is a single public access point and can be found online here. Community members can also choose to be notified about public meetings and hearings by registering on the Open Meetings Portal and choosing “Public City Council (All Associated Meetings)” on the distribution list.
If anyone has other suggestions as to how the Council can share this information we encourage you to call the City Council office at 401-521-7477 or email us at email@example.com.