Newsom Sends Out SOS About SMS in SF

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Tech-savvy San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to press the end button on text messaging at official City meetings.

    Newsom has asked the City attorney's office to draft a law that would put an end to some forms of electronic communication during Board of Supervisors meetings and other public meetings because of worries over lobbyists unfairly influencing officials.

    The high-tech communication ban wouldn't just cover texting. Other ideas on the table include a halt to cell phone calls and limiting laptop access because of instant messaging and email access.

    Newsom got the idea from the state's new Assembly Speaker John Perez, who declared last week that lawmakers would not be allowed to text lobbyists during official meetings when voting, debating and "doing the people's business."

    San Jose is taking the high-tech ban further. Last week, the City Council approved a policy that requires all council members to disclose electronic communication traded with lobbyists who could affected by decisions debated at the meetings. It's believed to be one of the country's strictest policies of its type.

    Newsom says he'll introduce the legislation as soon as next week.