AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time this year, Austin City Council will meet to make major decisions for the future.
Many agenda items that local leaders debate and eventually vote on are quite complicated.
With this in mind, some council members are trying to simplify subjects through their social media use.
For Austin City Councilwoman Vanessa Fuentes, social media is an important part of her job.
“It’s a great way for me to hear directly from people that live in my neighborhood, as well as to have a conversation,” she said.
The District 2 Councilwoman is active on a wide variety of social media platforms.
This includes Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram.
Fuentes and her staff aim to create content that’s accessible and easy to understand.
“We really shifted to create more video content on our platforms,” she said. “That is the number one way that we’re seeing our community connect.”
A few doors down at City Hall, Austin City Councilwoman Mackenzie Kelly is constantly keeping followers updated on her recent work.
“After city council meetings, I clip and post the video from what we discussed,” she said. “That way I bring awareness to the issues I raised.”
The District 6 Councilwoman also searches through social media to discover any issues or potential obstacles.
“There are individuals who have opinions that might not be the same as mine,” Kelly said. “In order for me to understand their perspective, I look at what they’re saying online.”
Not everyone feels comfortable speaking in public at Austin City Council meetings.
Instead, they’re reaching out to their local leaders online, through direct messages and tagged posts.
“It’s critically important to communicate, share and connect Austinites with their local elected leaders,” Fuentes said.
“I firmly believe that we need to meet people where they are and if they’re on social media, it’s another opportunity to tell them all about the good work we’re doing here at the city,” Kelly concluded.
Both City Councilwomen believe it takes a team effort with their staffers to complete their daily duties while also maintaining a strong social media presence.
Prior to posting, Fuentes and Kelly have their content reviewed by their team before sharing or uploading anything online.
Austin City Council will meet today at 9 a.m. For an in-depth preview of this week’s meeting, you can click here.