You don’t have to watch city council to pay attention to city council. The first and third Mondays of the month, you can follow along on the #a2council Twitter hashtag. A handful of regulars actively tweet about council proceedings, either from City Hall or while tuning in to the CTN broadcast. “It opens up City Council to people who would never think to go or watch on TV but get exposure in small doses via Twitter,” says one hashtagger, via, of course, a Twitter direct message.
“It provides a way for me to connect with others who are interested in local government, who I wouldn’t meet otherwise; and at the same time it encourages people I do know to get more interested in city government,” says another hashtagger. The #a2council crowd mostly provides basic reporting, commentary, background links, and responses to speakers at the public commentary. But occasionally there’s a little snarkiness–gently mocking unfortunate turns of phrase, predicting vote outcomes, and commenting on councilmembers’ sartorial choices.
The hashtaggers occasionally meet in person to play “#a2council bingo,” lately at Workantile on Main St. Cards have squares filled with agenda topics, council members’ habits, and civic concerns. Recent cards have included “deer cull,” “green space,” “CM thanks staff,” and “pothole.”