December 5, 2011

Starting in January the San Francisco Ethics Commission’s monthly meetings will be televised locally on Channels 26 and 78 and online at The idea came after the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury pushed for the idea following a scathing report calling the Ethics Commission a sleeping watchdog. The Civil Grand Jury report recommended the Ethic meetings be televised to ensure greater transparency in its meetings and deliberations. The Ethics Commission oversees and enforces San Francisco campaign finance laws and local elected officials. Currently, only audio recordings of the meetings are available.

While watching Ethics meetings may not sound as riveting as most reality TV, the move is significant.

Televised Meetings Increase Transparency

Regular Reset readers know we are huge advocates for the need for Gov 2.0 and open government. Gov 2.0 is about making government more accessible by transforming government into a platform that is participatory, transparent and dramatically more efficient. With emerging technology, the ability for government to share information has never been easier.

There is value in recording city government meetings even if viewership is low. So while we may not set our DVRs to record every episode of the “Ethics Commission” we support the move to televise the meetings and hope more government commissions follow suit.