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League of Women Voters launches new project to allow easy access to legislative meetings

The new project, dubbed The Alabama Channel, allows for keyword searches of meetings saved on the site.

The Alabama Channel

The League of Women Voters of Alabama on Saturday launched an initiative to archive live video recordings of the Alabama State Legislature’s chamber and committee meetings.

The new project, dubbed The Alabama Channel, allows for keyword searches of meetings saved on the site, the ability to track a bill’s lifecycle between legislative chambers and committee rooms, and the ability to share timestamped sections of a given meeting to social media or embed within a website.

“Ultimately, we anticipate that the Alabama Channel will improve civic engagement and government transparency,” said Kathy Jones, President of the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund, in a statement on Saturday. “Through the searchable digital archive of legislative proceedings, the Alabama Channel will help us all gain a big picture of Alabama’s legislative process and provide context for the complex issues that Alabama faces.”

Open Media Foundation, a Denver-based nonprofit, designed the software used by The Alabama Channel. Brandon Stiller, the Colorado groups’ creative director, said in a statement on Saturday that the Alabama Channel is meant to “increase constituent engagement and awareness.”

“We are honored to provide this technology to the League of Women Voters of Alabama and the citizens of Alabama,” Stiller said.

The Alabama State Legislature live-streams their sessions in both chambers and in committee rooms on Vimeo, with streams known to disconnect or freeze occasionally. Those live streams are not archived on the channel.

Barbara Manual, President of the Alabama National Federation of the Blind, said in a statement on Saturday that the new channel will allow all individuals in the state to access public meetings of the legislature in one spot easily.

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“Now, our blind community, other disabled individuals and interested citizens of this great state can retrieve information simply and in one location,” Manual said. “Knowledge is power and, viewing legislative sessions live or recorded, will foster greater awareness that impacts our daily life.”

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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