Should politicians talk less and listen more?

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At Solutions San José, our mission is embedded in our name – identify and build support for creative and common sense solutions to the problems facing our community.

That’s why we are so intrigued by a proposal now before the San José City Council that would simply ask politicians to speak a little less and listen a little more. What is happening now is that the politicians are going on so long at city council meetings that by the time they are done, regular residents can hardly be heard.

And while the politicians get paid to speak, most of us need to go to bed to be up in time to get to work or school. So, in effect, the long-winded speechifying from politicians is silencing the rest of us. What do you think? Should we adopt reasonable time limits on politicians so that there is more time for public comment and input?

We’re asking you – please let us know what you think by voting here: Do you think we should have reasonable time limits on city council meetings for the politicians speaking or do you think we should not impose limits on the council members?

Mayor Sam Liccardo has pointed out in a memo to his colleagues that most other elected bodies have reasonable time limits, including the United States Senate. Locally, the other large cities in the Bay Area have created reasonable time limits on elected officials so we require them to get to their points rather than making long speeches.

We know what Mayor Liccardo thinks about this. But what do you think? Do you support time limits on politicians speaking at city council meetings or do you oppose these limits? Please let us know – we can’t wait to hear from you.


We are so grateful to our expert panelists who led a comprehensive discussion last week on the science of safe school re-openings. If you would like to view the discussion – it is available now on our website.

We are organizing more in-depth discussions with experts and leaders to help drive solutions forward. Please stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so we can invite you to these thought-provoking events.

Please don’t forget to vote in our first-ever Solutions Survey – should there be time limits on politicians speaking at city council so there is more time for the rest of us to be heard? You can vote here.

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