Ensuring Environmental Equity: Public Participation in Governmental Decision-Making in the Pandemic Era
Should You Have To Risk Your Health to Participate in Democracy? Join Three Leading Experts for This Month's Conservation Conversation on June 24, 2020
Citizens are going through great lengths to have their voices heard during the Covid-19 pandemic, from protesters risking their own health, lives, and limbs to complain about allegedly excessive use of force to voting in potentially long and dangerous lines.
This dilemma is not limited to far-away places but has reared its head here in Tennessee. The state is grappling with how to adapt to the pandemic, and how to reopen safely now that the “first wave” seems to be receding (or so it is hoped).
We have invited experts to discuss all the issues involved. You are invited to hear and participate with this distinguished panel including:
Executive Director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government
Dr. G.S. Hans
Director of the Stanton Foundation First Amendment Clinic at Vanderbilt Law School
Harpeth Conservancy’s Vice President and COO
They will discuss topics including:
- The challenges to open government posed by the coronavirus,
- How the public participation is a vital component of equity of results, and not just process,
- Whether local governments can close meetings over coronavirus,
- What can be done to make sure that government stays open and transparent,
- Whether technology (such as Zoom and other video- & audio-conferencing technology) can or should supplement or supplant usual public participation in such things as environmental decision-making, permitting, and land-use and zoning.
If you are interested in this topic, click here for more information about public hearings during the COVID-19 crisis and the impact it has on local environmental legislation.