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How to testify at a City Council hearing

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We welcome public input at City Council committee hearings. You have a few options:

Step
1

Send us an Email

You can email written testimony on any issue before the City Council. Include the committee you want to address, along with the topic of discussion. You can also include the docket number for the item if you have it. 

You may send us testimony in any language you choose.

To put your testimony on record as part of a docket’s file, you should email the Committee. You can also send your email to a specific councilor. You can find their contact information in their profiles.

Step
2

Mail us a letter

You can mail public testimony on any issue before the City Council.

In your letter, include the committee you want to address, along with the topic of discussion. You can also include the docket number for the item if you have it.

You can mail your letter to a specific councilor or committee. Here’s a sample of how to address your letter:

Councilor [Name] (or) ATTN: [Committee name], [Docket number or issue]

Boston City Council

1 City Hall Square, 5th Floor

Boston, MA 02201

 

Step
1

Record and upload a video

Record a two-minute video of your testimony. After you finish recording your video, complete our form to submit your video for an upcoming hearing:

  • If your video is submitted more than two (2) business days in advance of the relevant session, it will be played then.
  • If your video is submitted later, it will be added to the record and made available to all councilors.

VIDEO TESTIMONY ONLINE FORM

 

Step
2

Testify in person at City Hall

Public testimony is a key component of City Council Committee hearings. We hold most hearings in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall. (Note that there are some hearings that are exclusively virtual, please check the upcoming City Council schedule).

You may testify in any language you choose. If you are in need of an interpreter, please reach out two weeks in advance and let us know so we can try to accommodate interpretation in real time. 

If you have not testified at a City Council hearing before, please arrive five (5) minutes before the call of the hearing to sign up and become familiar with:

  • the hearing format
  • testimony locations, and
  • the sound system.

Please bring fifteen (15) copies of any written documentation you wish to present at the hearing.

 

Step
3

Testify Virtually

Members of the public wishing to testify virtually via video conference at a hearing should email the committee or the hearing liaison listed on the public notice for a link and instructions.

Step
1

Want to talk to a Councilor?

You can also talk to your councilors directly and follow along with us between hearings.

Council Offices are typically open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can email or call a council office, or meet with a councilor or their staff at City Hall. All City Council offices are on the fifth floor. 

Please call or email the councilor’s office ahead of time to set up an appointment.

 

Keeping up to date

Getting To City Hall

For hearings and working sessions taking place at City Hall, please follow the below directions to City Hall. Once in the building, proceed to the fifth floor and follow signs for City Council.

Directions

Directions

To get to City Hall by subway or bus, you can take public transportation through the MBTA.

  • Green Line to Government Center
  • Blue Line to Government Center
  • Orange Line to State Street or Haymarket
  • Red Line to Park Street station and transfer to the Green towards Lechmere or Government Center, or walk from Downtown Crossing, or
  • The 92 and 93 buses, which stop outside City Hall on Congress Street.
DRIVING FROM THE NORTH

Use I-93 South and take Exit 24-A for Government Center. Stay in right lane on ramp. At top of the off ramp, proceed across Surface Road onto Clinton Street. At end of Clinton Street, proceed left onto North Street. City Hall is directly ahead across the intersection of North Street and Congress Street.

DRIVING FROM THE SOUTH

Use I-93 North and take Exit 23 for Government Center. Stay in left lane on ramp. At top of ramp, left lane becomes two lanes wide. Stay in lane marked for Government Center. This lane crosses Surface Road onto North Street. Follow North Street to intersection with Congress Street. City Hall is directly ahead across the intersection of North Street and Congress Street.

DRIVING FROM THE WEST ON STORROW DRIVE

Storrow Drive Traffic should access I-93 South. Use I-93 South and take Exit 24-A for Government Center. Stay in right lane on ramp. At top of the off ramp, proceed across Surface Road onto Clinton Street. At end of Clinton Street, proceed left onto North Street. City Hall is directly ahead across the intersection of North Street and Congress Street.

DRIVING FROM THE EAST OR WEST ON THE MASS. PIKE

Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) Traffic should access I-93 North. Use I-93 North and take Exit 23 for Government Center. Stay in left lane on ramp. At top of ramp, left lane becomes two lanes wide. Stay in lane marked for Government Center. This lane crosses Surface Road onto North Street. Follow North Street to intersection with Congress Street. City Hall is directly ahead across the intersection of North Street and Congress Street.

DRIVING FROM THE EAST VIA THE SUMNER TUNNEL

Traffic using the Sumner Tunnel should stay in the left lane marked for Government Center. Left lane exit ramp splits in two. Keep to left at this split for Government Center. From the top of the ramp, turn left onto New Chardon Street and proceed to Congress Street. Take a left onto Congress Street (passing under the Government Center Garage) and proceed to the intersection with North Street. Boston City Hall is directly on the right.

CAR

Street parking downtown is extremely limited, though a few parking meters are nearby on Union Street and on Cambridge Street. There is no public parking in City Hall itself, but there are several commercial parking garages within walking distance.

For short-term parking for City Hall visitors, one low-cost option is the Parcel 7 Garage (entrance on New Sudbury Street). With validation from a local merchant, max 3 hours of parking costs $3. Please note: The City of Boston does NOT validate parking.

BICYCLE

Bike racks are located at both the 3rd and 1st floor entrances.

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