The 9th annual Sunshine Week will take place from March 10-16th with events held around the country. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.
Here in Washington, DC, AALL will again co-sponsor a Sunshine Week webcast with OpentheGovernment.org, to be held on the morning of Friday, March 15. This year’s program will celebrate National Freedom of Information Day at the Newseum, with a specific focus on the future of open government. Four small panels will feature topics like FOIA and proactive disclosure, spending transparency, declassification, and ethics disclosure. Speakers will outline how the Obama Administration could make real progress in the short-and medium-term and a government or a former government employee will be on hand to respond. In the afternoon, the program will feature clips from the upcoming documentary, “War on Whisteblowers,” and a discussion with featured journalists and whistleblowers.
Want to get involved? AALL chapters have held many compelling open government events during Sunshine Week in years past. If you or your chapter is interested in holding a Sunshine Week event, we recommend checking out Michele Finerty’s excellent guide on creating a Sunshine Week Program and contacting the GRO for help.
Visit the recently updated Sunshine Week website for information about events in your area. The site is designed to help continue the dialogue on open government year round. You’ll find a Reading Room with highlights from reports and commentary, a Toolkit and Idea Bank to facilitate brainstorming, and a helpful FOI Resources section offering information on a wide-range of open government topics.