MAPC Statement on the Extension of Remote and Hybrid Meetings
March 30, 2023 - “The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) would like to thank Governor Healey for signing the supplemental, combined spending and borrowing bill into law and the Legislature for their work to quickly advance the key policy and funding issues within it. With its passing, municipal governments and other public entities are able to continue holding meetings remotely and in hybrid formats until March 31, 2025. MAPC wholeheartedly supports this temporary extension of remote and hybrid meetings and urges that the Legislature this session create a permanent extension of these measures. Remote and hybrid meetings have ensured that public participation is more equitable across the Commonwealth and expanded access to decision-making spaces for residents who were previously excluded.
MAPC is ready to continue to work with communities that are looking to add or expand their remote and/or hybrid meetings. Our Community Engagement team launched a hybrid engagement initiative during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and has developed shared practices, tools, and policies for municipalities. We are committed to supporting our municipal partners with their evolving journeys of virtual, in-person, and hybrid engagement. With the continuous and ever-changing needs of our communities, we know we must have virtual, in-person and hybrid engagement tools and experience to support our constituents. To learn more about our successful hybrid engagement practices visit: mapc.org/hybrid-engagement.
'We’re excited to see this common-sense extension be approved – virtual access to public forums is a crucial component of ensuring broad and equitable community engagement,' said Interim Community Engagement Director Christian Brandt. 'We look forward to working with our region to support the continued use of virtual and hybrid meetings and are excited to work with our legislators and municipalities see a permanent extension created.'"
Contact Christian Brandt for boilerplate local ordinance crafting and advice on devising a hybrid engagement strategy.
Senior Communications Specialist