Jefferson County is committed to engaging communities around issues that matter to them. Over the past two years, we have taken steps to ensure community members have convenient access to public meetings wherever they are. By deploying new technology in creative ways, Jeffco has increased community attendance and participation at meetings such as the Board of County Commissioners hearings.
In 2020, public meetings could no longer be held in-person so Jeffco quickly transitioned to an online videoconferencing solution to allow elected officials and county staff to conduct meetings remotely. We intentionally pursued a solution that would allow community members to engage in public comment and public testimony through video and audio. By providing the ability to join meetings virtually, community participation increased by over seven times compared to when in-person attendance was the only option.
In 2021, as restrictions around in-person meetings eased, elected officials and county staff planned a return to county buildings. However, based on the success of virtual videoconferencing, the Jeffco team decided to implement new equipment such as cameras, microphones, speakers, and monitors in hearing rooms so that community members could continue to participate in meetings either in-person or remotely. Jeffco’s Innovation Team collaborated with Facilities Management, Public Affairs, and other county departments to coordinate the project and deliver a high-quality experience for users.
We appreciate that is not always feasible or convenient for people to take time out of their busy schedules to travel to county buildings. By providing the platform to interact either in-person or virtually, we hope to remove barriers to participation and enhance inclusivity.
Learn more about Innovation at Jeffco and read more of our success stories.