Sunshine Week, a national initiative launched in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government, kicks off March 11. We here at Mill Valley Patch want to use this opportunity to celebrate, converse, comment, debate and educate the 94941 about the importance of open government and the public’s right to know what government is doing and why.
This year Sunshine Week, funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami, is co-sponsored by ASNE and the Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press and many other media industry partners, including Patch. The goal is to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.
In California, there are two acts that provide open access to public meetings, The Brown Act and The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. We also have the California Public Records Act that gives citizens access to all kinds of public information that is useful to communities.
Here in Mill Valley, we've seen some significant improvements in government transparency over the past year, including the for all City Council and Planning Commission meetings, as well as the .
But there are a two things about which we'd like to hear from you:
- Do you know any Sonoma residents who have championed local government transparency? The Sunshine Week organization is holding a national Local Heroes contest and nominations are due this week. Use this form to submit nominations.
- Have you faced any challenges with government transparency in our town, whether at , the or elsewhere? Share your stories below in the Comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll share them with our community.
- Are there any policy you'd like to see our local government agencies institute to improve transparency? Post them in the comments section below or email me at email@example.com