Remember in January when Phil Ting carved out a tiny, tiny place for himself in the mayoral race by protesting Muni parking tickets? We had almost started to forget about Ting again -- until today, when he fired people up with his proposal for City Hall to start taking public comment via YouTube.
Bringing YouTube to City Hall is not a novel idea; we could never forget former Mayor Gavin Newsom's love affair with the video-sharing technology, which he used to record his seven-hour State of the City address.
But Ting, the county's assessor and tax collector, is proposing something that will truly make the public hearings more unbearable.
He quietly launched an online petition yesterday, asking City Hall boards, commissions, and committees to let residents submit public comments with YouTube videos.
The idea of recording your thoughts from the comfort of your own sofa has garnered much support; so far 630 people have signed his petition, which he plans to submit to the Board of Supervisors.
"We use e-mails and letters, so why not YouTube?" Ting asked.
Right now, he says, most of the public testimony City Hall hears is from the same
1,000 people who come to meetings to lobby for their own self-interest. But what about the average Muni riders, who can't make it to MTA meetings because they are scheduled for midafternoons during the work week?
Ting says people should submit their two-minute videos to the county clerk prior to each meeting. From there, officials could cull through and select a few to air. "We could make it social, so the videos with the most "likes" would be played," he says.
If you would "like" to have an even longer wait to get through public meetings, then sign Ting's petition.
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