SFSU students push for initiative in upcoming November ballot

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco high school and college students submitted over 16,000 signatures today to qualify an open government initiative created by San Francisco State University students for the November ballot.

The measure would require the city to stream all public meetings live online, allow for virtual public testimony at meetings and allow the public to petition for agenda items to be held at a particular time. This would all be an effort to increase public participation in local government as well as diversify those attending and speaking at meetings.

Instructor David Lee and his spring online American government class at SFSU developed the measure.

Fawwaz Fikkeri, a student who participated in the class, said he had attended city government meetings and noticed a small amount of younger people attending.

“We want more youth to be involved,” Fikkeri said. “Hopefully this initiative will help.”

Students from Lowell, Washington and Galileo high schools now plan to get the word out to the public this summer and fall, Lee said.

Lee said that although the city broadcasts and offers online streaming video of some meetings on SFGovTV, that system is only able to handle one or two meetings at a time and does not cover every board and commission.

Lee, who is executive director of the Chinese American Voters Education Committee, said that the group is sponsoring the measure. He is also president of the public advocacy group San Franciscans for Open Government, which is campaigning for it.

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