Cuomo Launches Online Town Hall, to Host Chat Saturday

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Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that he will launch an online town hall — an interactive web site aimed to spark dialogue between New Yorkers and their state government

Cuomo said the site will feature weekly online chats where top state officials will take questions directly from New Yorkers. The first chat will be hosted by Cuomo on Saturday at 9 a.m.

“The way you’re going to change Albany is outside Albany," said Cuomo, speaking on Fred Dicker’s Talk 1300 radio show on Thursday. "The only way you're going to change the culture writ large, by the way, is by getting people engaged because ultimately democracy works when people are engaged.”

The site also links users to the governor’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as listings of upcoming and past public events, something Cuomo said would provide a narrative of how official business gets done.

“If you look at the last few weeks of the legislative session, and you’ll see things happening,” Cuomo said during the interview. “You’ll see by the meetings and the participants. You’ll see how the budget came together. You’ll see how marriage [equality] came together.”

Lawrence Norden, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, said the move was a step in the right direction.

"The internet can make it easier than ever before to increase transparency and accountability in government," Nolan said in a statement. "We’re happy to see Governor Cuomo taking this new step to further open the governor’s office to the public."