Bring More Sunshine to Your State!

Sunshine Week 2008 [March 16-22] is quickly approaching and you are invited to participate! AALL is co-sponsoring the National Dialogue on Open Government and Secrecy with OpenTheGovernment.org for the third year in a row, and we are looking for host sites to show the webcast! This year, the program, “Government Secrecy: Censoring Your Right to Know,” will be webcast live for free (also available via satellite downlink for a fee) from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on March 19 from 1-2:30pm EDT. Audience members at all sites will have an opportunity to call in and email questions to the panels. If you are not able to show the program live, you may show it at a later date.

In addition to hosting viewings of the national program, host sites are encouraged to organize audience discussions or panel presentations after the national program on local open government issues. Sites can now register until March 18. If you are interested in hosting or have questions please contact: Chris Green, Program Associate, OpenTheGovernment.org.

We are pleased to report that the following chapters and law libraries are hosting events: the Lake County Law Library (OH); the Lyon County Law Library (KS); the Westminster Law Library at Sturm College of Law, University of Denver; the Law Librarians of Puget Sound (LLOPS) with the Washington State Library; and the Northern California Association of Law Libraries (NOCALL) with the San Francisco Bay Region Chapter of the Special Libraries Association.

Sunshine Week began in 2005 as a national initiative led by the American Society of Newspaper Editors to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

This year’s program, “Government Secrecy: Censoring Your Right to Know,” will be in 2 parts:

I. The Secret Executive — What Can Congress and the Public Do?

This panel will address executive branch power and secrecy, congressional rights and responsibilities, and the role of the press in combating government secrecy.

Speakers:
Patrice McDermott (Moderator): Director of OpenTheGovernment.org.
Anne Beeson: Director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Institute and
previously Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Mickey Edwards: Director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership and former Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma for 16 years (1977-92)
John Podesta: President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress, Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, and formerly in senior staff positions in Congress

II. Citizen Self-Help: Finding the Information You Need

-We will be visiting and talking with creators of web sites that make hard-to-find government information easy for the public to find and use and hopefully inspire you to do likewise!
-A report will be given on an initiative to develop a 21st Century Right-to-Know agenda and recommendations for the next President and Congress.

Speakers:

-Greg Elin (Sunlight Labs) (Moderator)
-Bill Allison (Sunlight Foundation)
-Sheila Krumholz (Center for Responsive Politics/OpenSecrets.org)
-David Moore (OpenCongress.org)
-Sean Moulton (FedSpending.org)
-Daniel X. O’Neil (EveryBlock)
-Gary Bass (OMB Watch)

In each segment, opportunities will be available for audience questions from all participants.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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