Subnational Houses in Brazil: Remote Deliberation at Patos City Council

Read Ãatá Leite’s text from City Council of Patos (Brazil) about remote deliberation

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Patos is a city located in the state of Paraíba State, a hub for the region. It has around 110 thousand inhabitants and it is a pioneer in this modality of the digital parliament. As we know, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a state of emergency in public health of international importance due to the coronavirus. However in Brazil, in our state and municipality, it only came to “scare” and awaken the authorities, after it began to victimise our population. 


Then, only on March 19th, 2020 did our city council determine the immediate and indefinite suspension of legislative activities as a preventive measure. We were concerned about the continuity of the processes and the repercussion of the disease, still unknown at that time and on rapid expansion. 


The City Council of Patos held on April 2, 2020its 1st remote session (via videoconference). The So-called digital parliament that replaced the in-person operations for a long period of time, sought to derive the possible benefits from it.


Remembering that our city council currently consists of only 17 parliamentarians, 4 women and 13 men. The parliamentarians from the previous legislature already worked with broadcasting via Facebook and YouTube when they were in-person in the house. Today we have a team behind the scenes to carry out the sessions remotely. 


As a staff of the Patos City Council  the remote sessions are quite viable and of great importance to continue our work, since many projects have been approved that have contributed considerably to the fight against the pandemic itself.


The approval of these projects was worth it to our city. I hope that this technological transformation will stay with us to take advantage of its countless advantages, by training our staff to adapt to this new system, since our goal is to work and continue, and continuously make this new normal an experience of technological learning and growth.

[header image source: unsplash] 

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