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Understanding Public Agency Meeting Processes


Many professors have their students attend a public agency meeting as part of the assigned coursework.

The following resources can deepen and expand the learning that comes from that experience.


Decision-Making Occurs At Meetings

Because of transparency requirements, virtually all of the conversations among a quorum of members of city councils, boards of supervisors and special district boards occur at public meetings.


Pamphlet: The ABCs of Open Government Laws

This handy pamphlet provides a plain-language explanation of what decision-makers need to know about California’s transparency laws (the Brown Act and the Public Records Act).


How to Chair a Meeting

A key element of the success of any meeting is the approach and skills of the meeting chair.


Promoting Civility at Public Meetings: Concepts and Practice

In the context of democratic debate, civility is about how people treat each other. Civility involves the display of respect for those who have positions with which one disagrees.


Local Lobbying Regulations

Some local agencies impose disclosure requirements and other restrictions on those who are paid to influence local agency decision-makers.  Such regulations are another option local agencies have for increasing public trust and confidence in the decision-making process.

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