Learn More Open the Books

Sunshine Week, March 13-19, 2011

Sunshine Week News Release
American Society of News Editors

In recognizing earlier Sunshine Weeks, many public officials around the country issued proclamations extolling openness in government. A few introduced significant open government legislation or signed executive orders.

It’s time the pronouncements become actions and the few become the many.

This Sunshine Week, we urge citizens to press their public officials to do more, seeking not just broad statements of support for greater transparency but specific pledges and plans of action to enhance the public’s right to know.

Sunshine Week 2011 can be a time when you as a citizen or civic organization make a difference by identifying local or state open government shortcomings and then asking your public officials to pledge and initiate specific improvements in local or state law and practice.

To assist your efforts, the Sunshine Week team presents a sample Open Government Proclamation that you, or your group, can take to your public officials to seek a commitment on open government with specific action that will lead to increased sunshine.

Like all proclamations, it begins with a general statement of the benefits of open government at every level.

That is followed by a sampling of open government provisions that brought greater transparency to local and state governments around the country. We offer these as examples of the kind of specific action that may be needed in and appropriate for your community or state. We also hope these examples will inspire ideas for other openness measures that may be needed in your community or state.

We hope you and/or your organization will find these useful in considering what sunshine commitments are needed in your government and in crafting a specific proclamation and action pledge to present to your public officials.

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