The Chicago City Council wants to challenge its reputation as a culture of corruption by making recordings of the meetings available on-demand at chicityclerk.com.
City Clerk Miguel del Valle calls the move a step toward transparency in Chicago government. It allows residents to watch the meetings live or after they've aired on chicityclerk.com. Archives of meetings and debates from the last two years will also be available.
"The more information you have out there about how government works, the more interest will be generated. And the more attention people will pay to what happens in the city council," said Clerk del Valle.
"They do a lot, they control a six million dollar budget. They pass on all the appointments that are made in the major offices in the city. They pass all the laws that govern our lives in the city. It's important as citizens that we're able to hold them accountable and we're able to see exactly what they do, how they do it and whether they are truly representing us," said Dick Simpson, UIC Political Science Dept. Head
"Televising a meeting is not going to eliminate the passage of $1,000 in a bathroom some place. But it may change the climate in which that takes place," said Andy Shaw, exec. dir., Better Government Association.
The Better Government Association would also like the meetings to be broadcast live on the city's cable TV channels. However, aldermen have fought that.