People in Staunton continue protests to phone-in during City Council meetings

Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 11:13 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - People were back Thursday night in Staunton protesting City Council’s decision to end the ability to Zoom into meetings and with it the public’s ability to call in and speak.

They say the elderly, disabled, parents with young children, and others are being silenced during the pandemic, and they feel strongly that elected officials need to hear from the public.

Councilwoman Brenda Mead, who voted against the decision, says she’s disappointed that council members haven’t reconsidered that decision.

“Each of the council members who voted to end phone comments ran on a platform of wanting citizen’s voices to be heard,” said Mead. “And I will show you this from their campaign materials last year. We want your voice to be heard no matter your personal politics.”

“Yes, the uncodified emergency ordinance has been removed, however, the Council plans on having discussions concerning our procedure of memorandum,” said Mayor Andrea Oakes. “And during this discussion, we would like to talk about having citizens ability to call in.”

Protesters plan to keep coming until the public can call in again.

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