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City Of Austin Standards Of Conduct at Public Meetings

The City encourages good faith input from its citizens at all council, board, commission and committee meetings and desires to provide an environment based on respect and civility. In order to do so, the City Council of the City of Austin has established the following Standards of Conduct at Public Meetings based on the norms of acceptable and courteous business behavior.

  1. Members of the audience wishing to address the public body shall first secure the permission of the chairperson.
  2. When commenting, please be courteous, brief, constructive and nonrepetitive.
  3. Members of the audience will refrain from disruptive actions such as hand clapping, stamping of feet, whistling, cheering, yelling or similar demonstrations, which conduct disturbs the peace and good order of the meeting and which conduct might have an intimidating effect upon members of opposing viewpoints.
  4. Persons addressing the public body shall also refrain from slurs against race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual or affectional orientation, marital status, familial status, age, disability, or status with regard to public assistance.
  5. Profanity, slander, false statements, violence, or the threat of violence in any form shall not be tolerated.
  6. Signs brought to a meeting may not be attached to a stake, held higher than one’s head, nor in any way obstruct the vision of others in the room.

Violations of these Standards shall be determined by the opinion of the mayor or chairperson of the meeting or, absent such opinion, by the opinion of the majority of the members of the deliberating body.

  1. Any person violating these standards shall be called to order by the mayor or chairperson. If such conduct continues, said person may, at the discretion of the public body, lose the floor. With the exception of elected public officials at city council meetings, said person may be denied further audience for that meeting.
  2. If said person refuses to come to order and obey the directives of the mayor or chairperson of the meeting, they may request that said person leave the building. An exception is made for elected public officials at council meetings as protected by law.