The Sacramento City Council has joined a growing list of jurisdictions requiring public comments to be delivered in person. Sacramento’s decision was largely driven by a group of racists and antisemites who have been calling in to public meetings to spew hate speech. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and Santa Rosa City Schools recently received similar calls.
Sacramento began accepting virtual public comments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For more than a year, the City has been taking steps to return to the way we did business prior to the pandemic, and this is another part of that evolution,” said City Clerk Mindy Cuppy. She then acknowledged that the racist tirades during Zoom calls also played a role in the new rules.
The new policy was requested by councilmembers Sean Loloee and Karina Talamantes, according to the Sacramento Bee. Some progressives have spoken out against the change, saying it will also limit their ability to participate.