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New York City Politicians May Have to Read Your Online Comments

Council Members James Vacca and Ben Kallos want online comments on pending legislation to be considered official public feedback.

New York City Council Members Ben Kallos and James Vacca want to take advantage of how easy it is to speak your mind on the Internet. That's why Kallos and Vacca proposed Resolution 1104 to allow the public to comment online about proposed legislation and have it counted as official feedback. The comments would be put into a legislative tracking database for review by the city councilors.

Currently the only way for New Yorkers to voice their opinions about proposed legislation is to attend public hearings, which take place during business hours on weekdays. An official online commenting section would allow citizen feedback to enter the Internet age.

"People want to be able to send a tweet saying they're in favor of a bill or opposed to a bill or think a bill needs to [be] changed in a certain way and have that be in the official record," Kallos, chair of the city's Governmental Operations Committee, told Fast Co.

The resolution's text is ambiguous as to the format in which online comments would be entered into public record, whether a new website would be designed to accept feedback or the possibility of including tweets as official comments.