Registered users on Berkeley Considers can post their comments online with or without their name. Anyone can view reported comments. The goal of the forum is to broaden civic discourse constructively and civilly.
City staff uses the platform for outreach on specific operational issues. The City Council’s Agenda and Rules Committee also uses it to select a key item, when applicable, to request and see public input.
Under the City of Berkeley Charter, the City Council sets policy, and City staff, under the sole direction of the City Manager, implement operations. Those two separate realms of authority are reflected in Berkeley Considers.
Council Agenda & Rules Committee Items
The City Council's Agenda & Rules Committee discusses upcoming agendas coming before the full City Council. At the meeting before an agenda is published, they may decide to put an item on Berkeley Considers.
Each person weighing in on Council-focused Berkeley Considers topics is allowed one comment, a feature enforced through registration and through the platform operator's analysis of 25 different fraud detection data points, such as IP addresses, browser identity and similarity between email addresses.
The forum is also moderated so that comments comply with our guidelines for civility, which prohibit elements such as hate speech, personal attacks or obscene materials.
In the process, the intention is to create a more informed community and provide Council with a broader array of voices.
Community members can, at any time, mail the full City Council through one email address: email@example.com.
Online forums are not social science, nor scientific polling. But, as with public comment, it is intended to provide the Council with additional data to help in its decision making process.
Look at the question before you. Consider what others are saying. Let the City Council know what you would like them to consider for Berkeley.
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The platform is operated by OpenGov, which has used its software and services to broaden civic discourse around the country and Canada.