Please note: All meetings are currently held online due to COVID-19. When it is safe to do so, HERC will resume meeting in person. This section describes how to offer verbal testimony at those future in-person sessions. Information on how to give verbal testimony in an online meeting is in the next section.
At a meeting, public comment is usually taken:
- During time indicated for that topic on the agenda and
- After the group's discussion but
- Before a vote happens
Most often, the chair allows up to three minutes per speaker; speakers are invited to testify in the order they signed up. Sometimes, when time is limited, the chair may limit testimony (see “When time is limited" below).
Registration and providing testimony in-person
For in-person meetings, we encourage you to:
Register online or call 503-580-9792 by noon Pacific Time, two business days prior to the meeting.
- Whether or not you pre-register, please sign in when you arrive so that we can allocate time for testimony.
To ensure commissioners can receive your full testimony, we encourage you to submit written testimony in addition to signing up to provide verbal testimony. (All written testimony will be posted publicly.)
Written testimony must be received by noon Pacific time two business days prior to a scheduled meeting. See the Written Testimony policy below for full details.
Here are some other things you may wish to think about:
- Slides, presentations or other materials you want presented with your testimony must be provided to staff 24 hours prior to the start of the meeting by emailing email@example.com.
- After your testimony ends, please remain available to the Commission for questions or responses from members. Time spent answering member questions does not count against your testimony time.
- If you wish, you may wish to bring 15 paper copies of your written testimony for members and staff to review along with your verbal testimony.
- HERC staff reserve the right to not present or distribute materials that the HERC director deems inappropriate, or which do not relate to a matter within HERC's role.
Verbal testimony for a topic that is not on the agenda:
You can testify for a limited time on topics not on the agenda. This testimony will usually take place during the last part of the meeting. Sometimes a meeting ends before the scheduled time, so we would encourage you to arrive 30 minutes before the end of the meeting. Based on your testimony, the Commission may decide to take up the topic for review at a future meeting.
When testimony time is limited:
For some topics, the chair will need to balance the need for staff's presentation of information and members' deliberation time with the need to hear public testimony. For instance, if many people sign up to testify for a topic, the chair may decide to limit testimony to as little as one minute per person, and/or limit total testimony to as little as five minutes per agenda topic (or five minutes combined for all topics which do not appear on the posted agenda). If the number of people who wish to testify on a given topic is greater than the available time for testimony, people who signed up will be invited to testify in the order in which they registered, until the available time expires.
In rare cases, the Commission or a subcommittee may announce a meeting which does not include public testimony time. For example, this may occur when a lot of public testimony has already been heard at a dedicated meeting on that topic or when there are pressing agenda items must be decided on at that meeting.