Common Council going paperless

Apr 6, 2015

Buffalo's Common Council is going electronic, replacing vast piles of paper.

As legislation becomes digitized, Common Council members won't need to be sifting through piles of paper.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The Council is awash in paper, up to 1,000 pages for each member in the two weeks leading up to a session and those papers have to be marked and altered and changed and then put in recycling bins after a vote. Council President Darius Pridgen says every member will get a computer and all the legislation will be digitized so each member can work with it on a screen.

"I want to make these documents public. The average person at home, we're voting so quick, because we've met on it, we caucused about it, but you have no idea at home what is that item really about," Pridgen said.

"I want to reveal that item to the public. I think that as public servants who are elected to serve the public, when we are voting on something, the public has every right to read that item." 

It's part of a pattern of changing from paper, with statewide voters approving putting state documents on screen and on the web. That means those piles of papers around state legislators desks, sometimes several feet high, are going away.