Resources for Joining Virtual Meetings – City of Palo Alto, CA

Overview

To protect public health and prevent the spread of the COVID-19/Omicron variant, the City encourages participation in online meetings. Additionally, this new shift to live public meetings provides ease of use and flexibility for the public to participate anywhere and anytime.

From now until further notice, all meetings will be virtual only. Pursuant to the provisions of GC 54953 (as amended by AB 361), the bill authorizes meetings by teleconference under the Brown Law during certain declared states of emergency. The Governor of California declared a state of emergency related to COVID-19 on March 4, 2020. He declared that all meetings of the city council, commissions and committees will be held by teleconference only, and will not be physically open. to the public. On September 16, 2021, the Governor of California expanded its use through AB 361. It requires the Board to make findings whether the state of emergency still exists and continues to directly impact members’ ability to meet safely in person. The city has acknowledged the increase in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and has resumed virtual-only meetings until further notice.

Meetings are held via Zoom teleconference. They are also broadcast in several ways: live on cable TV channels 26 or 29, YouTube and on the Midpen Media Center. Members of the public who wish to comment on matters before the Council, instead of doing so in person, can email [email protected] Emails are linked on the agenda next to the relevant item. All public emails to council are uploaded to the Public Letters to Council webpage by noon on the day of the meeting.

Explore the links above for more information on how to maintain healthy public engagement.
You have more questions ? Please contact the City Clerk’s Office at [email protected] or (650) 329-2571.

The City of Palo Alto has regular meeting dates for all of its governing bodies. Information about town meetings is best found in published agenda packets. Agenda packets outline the items that will be discussed at the meeting. It also includes important information, such as when to provide public feedback and how to join an online meeting.

  • The regular schedule of Board meetings is as follows:
  • The regular calendar of councils, commissions and committees is as follows:

Looking to get online access? Visit our Palo Alto Libraries! Although library hours are limited due to COVID-19, our Palo Alto libraries continue to provide services and resources to our community. Rinconada Library and Mitchell Park Library are great points of interest for. For more information on hours, explore our Palo Alto Library locations and hours. Among the services currently provided, we recommend the following resources to help you participate in our public meetings:

  • Rent a Chromebook from our Palo Alto libraries. Detentions are for one week.
  • Wireless Internet is available in all branches. No password or library card is required.
    Steps to login:
    • To look for PA_OverAir_Library on your wireless device.
    • Accept the policy and enjoy 2 hours of access.
    • After 2 hours, you can repeat the process for more internet access.
  • Need help? Contact the Palo Alto Library team by phone at (650) 329-2436 for more information!

All City of Palo Alto meetings are currently being held via Zoom. Zoom information is available on all calendars published on the front page. Residents can participate online by computer/mobile device or by phone.

  • If you participate by video, use the link provided on the front page of the agenda. The usual practice would be to use the Zoom Join link and enter the webinar ID which can be found at the top of the agenda homepage.
  • If participation by telephone, dial in the United States: +1 (669) 900-6833. Once logged in, enter the webinar meeting number of your corresponding meeting. This information can be found on the first page of the agenda.
  • For more information on how to join a meeting, please see the How to Join a Zoom Meeting guide.

To view and observe a meeting, Palo Alto broadcasts online and via Cable TV Channel 26 or 29. Our online resources are:

  • Midpen Media Center broadcasts most Palo Alto meetings. This includes that of the city council, committees of council, councils, commissions and other special committees. Only the town/school liaison committee meeting is not broadcast on MidPen but via Zoom.
  • The City of Palo Alto’s YouTube channel broadcasts all city council meetings live.
  • Zoom is the main platform for all virtual meetings.

Members of the public may provide public comments to meetings by teleconference by email, teleconference or telephone. For more information on joining via Zoom, see the Raise your hand from Zoom support guide.

Written public comments

  • Written public comments may be submitted to the full City Council by emailing [email protected] or by emailing a member of council directly. Use the individual information on our city council webpage. Public comments to the Board are posted every Monday at noon on our Public Letter to the Board web page. Emails that are relevant to an agenda item heard that day are linked on the council agenda folder on the day of the meeting.

Oral public comments by computer

  • Oral public comments using a computer will be accepted through the teleconference meeting. To address the Council, click on the link below to access a Zoom-based meeting. Please read the following instructions carefully:
    • You can download the Zoom client or connect to the meeting in the browser. If you use your browser, be sure to use a current and up-to-date browser. Some features may be disabled in older browsers, including Internet Explorer.
    • You may be prompted to enter an email address and name. We ask that you identify yourself by name as this will be visible online and will be used to notify you that it is your turn to speak.
    • To speak about an agenda item, click on “Raise your hand”. You will then be prompted to reactivate your device and allowed to make public comments. After the allotted time, you will then be re-transferred.
    • A timer will display on the computer to help keep track of your comments.

Public commentary spoken by smart device

  • Public comments spoken using a smart phone will be accepted through the teleconference meeting. To address Council, download the Zoom app to your phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and enter the meeting ID found on the agenda. Please read the following instructions carefully:
    • You may be prompted to enter an email address and name. We ask that you identify yourself by name as this will be visible online and will be used to notify you that it is your turn to speak.
    • To speak about an agenda item, click on “Raise your hand”. You will then be prompted to reactivate your device and allowed to make public comments. After the allotted time, you will then be re-transferred.
    • A timer will display on the computer to help keep track of your comments.

Public oral comments by telephone

  • Public comments spoken using a telephone can be accessed by dialing 1 (669) 900-6833 and entering the webinar ID of the meeting. To talk about an agenda item, press *9 on “Raise Hand” when the element is heard. You will then be prompted to unmute your device by pressing *6. After the public comment time has elapsed, you will then be muted again. You will be asked to provide your first and last name before addressing the Board. When called, please limit your remarks to the agenda item and the time allowed.

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