Sunshine Week may have ended last month, but the Massachusetts Freedom of Information Alliance is still at work, pushing for 21st century public records reform. Here’s 5 reasons why transparency reform is a top priority:
1) The Massachusetts media world ran an unprecedented and coordinated campaign in support of public records reform.
There were so many articles and editorials written about our commonwealth’s problems with transparency that we’re certain everyone hasn’t read them all yet. We need to keep spreading the word! They’re worth a re-read anyway, too.
2) Transparency simply doesn’t happen on its own.
Ensuring records and information flow freely out of government to the public requires energy, a staff, resources, and more. Left to their own devices, some politicians will choose secrecy in the name of convenience, and so we must never let up the pressure to keep government doors open.
3) Massachusetts citizens with a need - and right - to know what their officials are doing too often remain in the dark.
Activists, journalists, and more look for information about what is going on in government, knowledge that is essential for holding public servants accountable, but are blocked by excessive costs, outdated technology, bureaucratic complexity, and a lack of compliance with the law already on the books. It’s a real problem with real consequences, and it cannot be allowed to stand any longer!
4) Momentum is on our side.
Due to the support of the media and our coalition’s continued advocacy efforts, attention has been building on the need for public records reform. Transparency is the talk of the town, and we have more legislators and officials already signaling their support for a 21st century reform bill than ever before. We have an excellent opportunity to get a revised public records law passed this session, and we will keep pushing until it happens.
It is YOUR right to know that’s at stake, and your grassroots support has energized us to keep going. Citizen activism has been and will remain key in this battle. We’re counting on your continued involvement, and hope you’ll join us at future events, including an upcoming hearing on public records reform at the State House. Stay tuned for more details on that, and if you haven’t already…