SAN JOSE – Assemblymember Alex Lee issued the following statement expressing disappointment in Governor Newsom vetoing AB 339:
I’m disappointed that Governor Newsom decided to veto AB 339, which would have required big cities and counties to keep remote participation either through call-in or internet-based options. We’ve heard from multiple communities that one silver-lining from the pandemic was the increase in accessibility to local government meetings.
AB 339 was already a huge compromise. We took out translation requirements, universal application to all government bodies (state, schools, cities, etc.), and had an expiration date of December 2023. Despite all these compromises and a vicious political process, we thought AB 339 represented an important, but modest first step to say: everyone should be included at the decision-making table.
Those who have been historically excluded from participation such as working parents, the differently-abled, and those without a reliable means of transportation were finally able to attend meetings to make their opinions heard. The technology for remote participation exists and we’ve seen successful implementation this past year.
Accessibility, transparency, and integrity of our democracy are core values of mine. I’m committed to continuing to modernize the way our government works for our constituents.