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Just Because They Ask, Doesn't Mean You Have to Answer

(Anywhere Colorado) -- Covid changed a lot, didn't it?

For one thing it changed the way meetings are conducted. I'll bet your 2019 life didn't include a lot of zoom meetings and call in meetings. We got used to calling in to attend, participate or just listen in and this included city council meetings and board meetings.

While many have adopted the Facebook live method for complying with covid best practices and have continued to offer it up in a show of transparency, some are using a call-in method to participate.

That brings us to the question of whether or not you are obliged or required to state your name and address when you call. Well, if you're signed up to speak, many municipalities ask that you sign in so that they may have a record of your participation in the meeting. That's pretty standard.

But what if you just want to know what the elected officials in your area are voting on and acting on for you. They are doing business on your behalf as the elected official. There's probably no harm in knowing what's going on. After all, you can only be an informed citizen in participation of the process by educating yourself. Many government entities are now in a race to show who is more transparent so this seems to be a no-brainer.

If you don't want to state your name if you're just listening in, you don't have to. You might be asked by whoever is leading the meeting and answering the call but you have the right to stay totally silent about your identity. You might be protecting your identity for a safety reason that only you need to know about. It's really no one's business, but yours.

There are apps to help you protect your privacy when calling in. Personally, though, I like the old fashioned *67 before making the call. You can find out how to do that and more in this link.

Here's another link with a few apps that can help keep your identity safe.

I suppose I'm writing this as a how-to article because I get asked on a weekly basis almost about this. And I feel that if people can call and protect their privacy they might be more willing to participate in government, organizations, school events etc.

If you've found this article helpful, please share it with a friend.

I'd like to hope we could start the *67 movement and get more people involved.


Anne Boswell

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