Community Calls for Online Video Testimony Before All City Boards and Commissions

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“City government is only going to be as good as the information it gets. And right now, too much of the information it gets comes from about the same 1,000 people who have a specific self interest to come and lobby at City Hall. YouTube Testimony will make government more responsive by giving more San Franciscans a chance to be heard.” - Phil Ting

The Reset San Francisco Community has launched an online petition drive to persuade San Francisco Boards and Commissions to accept public testimony via free video services, such as YouTube, as part of an overall effort to improve quality of life by giving more San Franciscans greater access to local government.

Currently, nearly every Board and Commission, including the Board of Supervisors, meets during the day. The community is proposing to give greater access to city government by allowing YouTube Testimony on the same basis as regular public testimony.

“With YouTube Testimony, even if you work or are in school, you still could be heard. Our government decisions are only as good as the information we receive, and here is a simple and free way to increase the flow of information,” said Phil Ting, candidate for Mayor and founder of

Ting proposed some simple ground rules, including a requirement that the videos should be submitted by San Franciscans only and be no more than two minutes in length. He suggested that Boards and Commissions take ten minutes of YouTube Testimony as an initial trial.

“This may seem like a small idea. But it is based on a pretty radical concept – democracy works. The more people can be heard, the better our government will be. And when we open up government to more people, not just the usual suspects, the decisions will be more representative of the rest of us,” said Ting.

The petition is available on is an online organizing platform designed to give San Franciscans the tools and support they need to change city government. was founded by San Francisco Assessor Recorder Phil Ting, who is a candidate for Mayor. The platform is open to all candidates. The community also gathers in person every month to help identify community issues and explore and implement solutions.

Paid for by Phil Ting for Mayor 2011. FPPC #1334205


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