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Ensuring Accessibility for All Citizens At All City Council Meetings


Information

  • From: Armando Vias armando@armandovias.com
  • To: Mayor LaRhonda W. Patrick
  • Sent: Friday, July 7, 2023 at 1:33 PM Eastern Time
  • Email Or Physical Mail: Via Email
  • Priority: High Priority

Message

Dear Mayor Patrick,

I am writing to you today as a concerned citizen of Houston County. I am blind and I am unable to attend City Council Meetings in person. I am requesting that you provide a virtual option for City Council Meetings so that I can participate and have my voice heard.

As a blind person living in Houston County, my job is to make sure that everyone is included in speaking out to have their voices heard in front of City Council Members.

I am concerned that there is not an option to speak to them virtually. Yes, we have a Facebook Live Stream, but what I am trying to get across is that people who have disabilities who is unable to drive, or has limited access to transportation, such as not having a car, won’t be able to participate in these meetings.

For example, if a blind person doesn’t have reliable transportation to meetings to have their voices heard, then they will feel isolated, meaning that they won’t be able to speak out. Yes, we use Uber/Lyft, but for those of us who are on a very tight budget, they won’t be able to get themselves to the meeting(s) without having to spend lots of money using these services, depending on the part of the county that they live in. Also, the prices for these taxi services increase or decrease frequently, depending on the time that they book. That way, they can join the meeting from the comfort of their homes instead of having to worry about how much they spend on these taxi services.

I urge you to consider providing a virtual option for City Council Meetings. This would be a valuable resource for blind and other disabled citizens, and for citizens who do not have a vehicle to travel. This would help to ensure that we have a voice in the decision-making process.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Armando Vias


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