Meeting Format: 1) As a community resident I think this media forum is not consumer friendly in allowing community members to have an opportunity to participate fully in this report out process. (Evergreen Note: comment refers to the use of Microsoft Teams Live event during the August 27, 2020 Public Information Session). 2) Many communities and cities are finding that COVID 19 doesn’t have to stifle public debate. The South Philadelphia and Grays Ferry communities are comfortable with virtual tools that allow us to see and hear each other, as well as Evergreen. It is important that you adopt tools (which you likely use in your daily meetings with colleagues) that promote a true virtual public meeting. Would Evergreen be willing to discuss with community organizations the selection of technology that is more appropriate for virtual public meetings?

The Microsoft Teams Live format was selected to ensure that as many people as possible could see the presentation and participate. Other meeting platforms, like Zoom, have caps on attendance, and we knew that there was potentially a significant interest in the first meeting.  We chose a platform that had a higher capacity to allow as many people as possible to attend and view the information.

We also chose this specific Q&A format to allow for as many questions as possible to be asked. Taking verbal questions following our presentation would have limited the total number of questions taken.

While many of us use virtual platforms for small group meetings, this type of large group event (the Aug. 27, 2020, event had well over 100 attendees) is not typical for us.  As we have all likely experienced, even in small groups there can be issues with background noise and interruptions. We are open to suggestions on ways to improve future meetings in a way that maximizes the opportunity for participation. We also hope that we don’t need to do virtual meetings much longer!

With all of that said, we shifted the format of the Jan. 14, 2021, meeting slightly. We utilized the Zoom Webinar platform, to allow for administrators to open microphones individually for those that choose to state questions verbally. We also used the chat function to collect written questions.  The intent for this was to allow open dialog while still answering as many questions as possible.