American democracy is designed to be participatory. To meet that goal, citizens must have the tools necessary to constantly monitor their government and hold its officials accountable for their actions. That means citizens must have the ability to attend meetings where public policy is discussed and voted. They must have the opportunity to weigh in on issues in a timely and meaningful manner. They must have bountiful opportunities to learn about upcoming meetings and the issues presented. And there must be safeguards that are enforced to ensure that citizens' rights are protected.
With support from Common Cause Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Sunshine law recently saw a major improvement when fines were increased to make them meaningful and to provide incentives for enforcement. Common Cause Pennsylvania continues to monitor the PA sunshine law to ensure that agencies comply with the law in good faith. Common Cause Pennsylvania also advises citizens on how to use the law.