Braxton Winston pushes for public comment to return to government TV

Did you know public comment at Charlotte City Council meetings is not allowed to be broadcast on government TV? That change was approved earlier this year, but now one of the newest city council members says he doesn't agree with that decision.

At Monday nights city council meeting, Council Member Braxton Winston grabbed for his iPad instead of a notepad to stream public comments live over Facebook.
 
"I think democracy works better when more people are involved. Not everyone can or is willing to show up to the Government Center," said Winston.
 
Public comment once aired on the city government channel, but last spring that portion of the broadcast went dark because the previous city council voted to end that practice.
 
"Everything I have heard from the public regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum, they don't agree with that decision," said Winston.
 
The decision came months after a meeting in September of 2016 that made national headlines following the shooting of Keith Scott and another meeting earlier in March of this year where immigration protests brought a city council meeting to an early end.
 
Now, not even a month on the job, Winston wants public comment back on government television.

Mayor Vi Lyles has agreed to place the item on the January 8 agenda, but until a change is made, Winston says he plans on continuing his social media engagement, including Facebook live.
 
"I am going to work to find ways to get people more engaged and I would just ask my constituents to do that as well. Continue to show up, continue to use every form, whether it be email, phone calls or letter writing," said Winston.

A city spokesperson says Mayor Vi Lyles doesn't have a stance just yet on the issue.