Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)
Posted: August 4, 2020

The Navajo Nation

Office of the President and Vice President

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2020

Input sought from the Navajo people regarding public meetings conducted via telecommunications

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer are requesting input from the Navajo people for Resolution CJY-66-20, which was approved by the 24th Navajo Nation Council by a vote of 22-0 during a special session held on July 30, 2020. If signed into law, the resolution would continue to allow chapters, chapter subcommittees, agency councils, veterans organizations, community land use planning committees, and regional and district councils to conduct official meetings via teleconference, as opposed to meeting in-person due to concerns over COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus.

“I strongly believe that the health and well-being of all of our Navajo people is always the top priority. After the COVID-19 pandemic began on the Navajo Nation, these governing bodies were authorized to conduct their meetings through conference calls and video conferencing. Since then, the Navajo people have expressed many concerns over the lack of transparency, public notifications, and other issues related to how and when the Navajo people are notified of public meetings and how they are conducted. Many shared their concerns with our administration as we visited the 110 chapters in recent months. There seems to be an overall sense that many governing bodies are not complying with the 48-hour public notice of meetings and that many issues are being decided without transparency and without input from many of our Navajo citizens,” said President Nez.

Because the bill was introduced as an “emergency legislation,” it was not made available for the regular five-day public comment period and was not considered or debated on by any of the Council’s Standing Committees. President Nez has until Aug. 10 to consider the resolution.

“We want full transparency every level of government and that begins with ensuring that the people are adequately notified of public meetings and have full access to participating in those meetings. At the local level, many decisions are being made by a small number of people in many situations. For these reasons, it’s important that we provide the opportunity for our people to submit comments to help guide us in deciding whether or not to approve the resolution passed by the Council,” added President Nez.

In accordance with 26 N.N.C., chapters are required to provide 48-hour advance notice of public meetings and to make every effort to allow the entire chapter membership the opportunity to call-in and access meetings. Resolution CJY-66-20 states that stipends that are provided for in-person meetings with regard to Chapter subcommittees, community land use planning committees, and agency, regional and district councils and veterans agency meetings are to apply to teleconference meetings.

“Local governing officials are receiving stipends for their hard work and all we ask is that the Navajo people are provided every opportunity to access and participate in these public meetings. We want to know how are people feel about Resolution CJY-66-20 and also how local governing bodies should improve on notifying the public and making it easier to access these meetings. We will review the public comments as we consider this resolution,” stated Vice President Lizer.

Resolution CJY-66-20 is available online at: https://www.opvp.navajo-nsn.gov/Portals/0/FILES/Latest%20News/CJY-66-20.unsigned.pdf?ver=CAGPxMkeqMyeeh4MmIgrJg%3d%3d&timestamp=1596385385474

The Office of the President and Vice President will accept written comments submitted on or before Sunday, August 9, 2020, by e-mail to nnopvp.communications@gmail.com or mailed to P.O. Box 7440, Window Rock, Arizona, 86515. Please clearly indicate your full name, chapter affiliation, and reference to Resolution CJY-66-20.

Input sought from the Navajo people regarding public meetings conducted via telecommunicationsWINDOW ROCK, Ariz. —…

Posted by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer on Monday, August 3, 2020

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