9 Reasons to Attend at City Council Meeting
Listen to the perspective of others in the community. I was interested is hearing what some of the constructions workers had to say about the 10k new homes that were approved for the north bayshore area. They were Sheet Metal Workers, and all in favor of the project, some of them mentioned that they would be employed by developers, and others mentioned that they wanted to live in one of the new homes.
Hear exactly what’s going on in the community. The day after the new precise plan was approved, I saw online that some people were talking about things that were incorrect, or falsely stated, but since I was present at the meeting, I knew that they were wrong. It feels good to be in-the-know and not have to rely on someone else to filter the information for you.
Get to know council members. I’m sure you already know most of them, and you probably see them all the time at community events, but until you actually see them vote on issues, and listen to them speak at council meeting, you don’t really know what they’re thinking. You’ll also remember what each of them are like the next time you go to your polling station.
Share your opinion. You don’t get to vote on most issues; that’s what the elected officials are supposed to be doing, voting on behalf of the residents that elected them. But, you are certainly welcome to stand up during the “oral communications” time and let your voice be heard.
Get involved. Decide how involved you want to become by listening to what the different projects the city advisory committees are working on. You’ll find the perfect niche for yourself and you’ll learn about the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, the Visual Arts Committee, and the Senior Advisory Committee, just to name a few.
Meet other community-minded residents. The audience at city council meetings is full of leaders-in-the-community and people who are incredibly involved. Whether you just moved here, or you were born and raised in Mountain View, we all want to find a group of people who are passionate about the same things we are and city council meetings are a great place to connect with people who want to have a positive impact on our community.
Better understand local politics. Attending meetings will provide you with deeper insight into the workings of local government, including how proposals move down the pipeline (or don’t) and how the various departments interact with one another.
Learn about new developments and projects in Mountain View. Tell me about it! There are new projects every direction I look and I love knowing what’s happening.
Hear presentations about organizations in the community. I enjoyed seeing Candace from Mountain View Historical Society honored and Dan Woods, CEO of El Camino Hospital, spoke about the new construction at the hospital and how the old building was going to be surgically dismantled.
A few tips that will make your council meeting more comfortable: Learn the official procedure for addressing council. Here’s a helpful link of vocabulary terms to familiarize yourself with before attending a council meeting. Feel free to bring a knitting project or something similar to do, as it sometimes goes on for hours. And hours. You can leave anytime you like.
Our City Council meetings are on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 500 Castro Street, Second Floor. Special meetings are called as necessary by the Mayor and noticed 24 hours in advance.
Enjoy getting to know more about Mountain View. It’s good to be connected and informed.