Sunshine Week 2007: Closed Doors; Open Democracies?


"Sunshine Week 2007: Closed Doors; Open Democracies?" was a great success! To learn more about it, scroll down.

Now the question is, "What can I do?" The answer is: TAKE ACTION NOW.

  1. Visit the OpenTheGovernment.org coalition website and get involved. The coalition members are listed here.

  2. Get others involved: Talk to at least five people about the "Closed Doors; Open Democracies?" event and the themes of Sunshine Week - and get each of the five people to join the OpenTheGovernment.org coalition.

  3. Begin the dialogue about a 21st century right to know agenda: Send us the top one or two things you would change to improve public access today. Send your one or two ideas to yourRTK@openthegovernment.org

Sunshine Week 2007: Closed Doors; Open Democracies?

Join Ira Flatow, host and executive producer of NPR's Science Friday, and two panels of government and other experts in a national dialogue addressing issues of access to government information, including the impact of government suppression and manipulation of scientific information on public health and safety – and accountability at the federal and the state and local levels. The event will begin with a lively discussion of the issues and end with ideas for action.

This dialogue with government openness experts – which will feature video segments and a question-and-answer period, followed by local programs at sites across the country – kicks off Sunshine Week 2007. The event is being hosted by the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, League of Women Voters, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Freedom of Information Coalition, OpenTheGovernment.org, Special Libraries Association, Sunshine Week, and Union of Concerned Scientists

Speakers:

  • Ira Flatow (moderator), host and executive producer of NPR's Science Friday
  • Dottie Biggs, former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) librarian from Region 8
  • Jay Dyckman, director of The Knowledge Project at the National Coalition Against Censorship,
  • Francesca Grifo, Senior Scientist and Director of Scientific Integrity Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Mark Tapscott, Editorial Page Editor, the Washington Examiner
  • Rick Piltz, Founder and Director of Climate Science Watch and former whistleblower at the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP)
  • Bill Wolfe, Director, New Jersey Chapter of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
  • Susan Wood, Research Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and former FDA official who quit over the delay of Plan B
When & Where: Monday, March 12, 2007, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST. Webcast from the National Press Club in Washington, DC, to sites around the country. Visit www.OpenTheGovernment.org for a list of venues, registration information, and more.

How: If you're interested in being a host site, you may now register at https://secure.ga6.org/08/sunshineweek. If you would like to help as a state coordinator, please contact: Emily Feldman, Program Associate, OpenTheGovernment.org via email at efeldman@openthegovernment.org.

Resources

For this year's program:

Background Information:

  • What is Sunshine Week?
  • To see what we did last year, you can purchase a DVD of the program through the Special Libraries Association for $25.00
  • Looking for Sunshine: Protecting Your Right to Know (PDF File) [An Open Government Resource Guide]: The League of Women Voters Education Fund created this Resource Guide, which includes an overview of open government issues, a review of federal and state laws, concrete ideas for what Leagues (and you!) can do, a list of national and state groups working on open government issues identifies other national and state organizations involved in these issues, and more!
  • Want to start a Freedom of Information (FOI) organization in your state? The National Freedom of Information Coalition hopes to have funding available to those who qualify. Funding may also be available for projects that existing organizations want to undertake. You can get a copy of the application and guidelines at http://www.nfoic.org/grants. The next NFOIC Project Funding Application deadline is March 15 for the spring funding period.
  • Bright Ideas for Sunshine Week 2007: Includes a collection of examples from Sunshine Week 2006, a variety of news and opinion from print, broadcast and online outlets, photos from events, creative graphic presentations, and examples of student work.

Background

The first national "Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know" was launched in March 2005 and will be celebrated in 2007 from March 11-17. Sunshine Week's intent is to raise awareness of the importance of open government to everyone in the community, not just journalists.



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Sunshine Week (March) A National Dialogue on Open Government and Secrecy