|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: Martha Patzer|
|March 16, 2010||202-263-1332|
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS MARKS SUNSHINE WEEK 2010
Issues Call to Action: Citizens Have a Role in Open Government
Washington, DC – The League of Women Voters celebrates Sunshine Week 2010, a national period dedicated to promoting transparency, freedom of information, and enhanced public participation in government. National League President Mary G. Wilson issued a call to action asking citizens to take advantage of their important role in fostering an open and accountable government.
"During our decades of advocacy and education efforts on open government and freedom of information, the League has worked with The White House, Congress and state and local governments to ensure that government is for the people and by the people," Wilsonsaid. "Sunshine Week 2010 is a great opportunity to refocus the dialogue on the most effective methods for improving the way government at all levels works for Americans."
"To that end, our efforts this week include cosponsoring the 5th Annual Sunshine Week National Dialogue, Building Transparency, an interactive discussion of federal openness policies and citizen opportunities to use government information," Wilson stated.
“Over the last year, the League actively participated in The White House’s online Open Government Dialogue.
We reported to Administration officials that, although public input through technology is great, more traditional ways of engaging the public must be embraced as well.”
“Federal agencies are now being asked to produce ‘openness’ plans by April 7. While initial reports indicate agencies seem concerned about the directive's public feedback requirement, we believe that this is probably the most critical part of this directive,” Wilsoncontinued. “We are excited to see what the agencies come up with.”
"Locally, the League's grassroots membership continues to be active on issues of government transparency and public participation—operating their Observer Corps programs, conducting public document audits, and holding town hall meetings,” Wilson concluded. "At every level, transparency and citizen participation are the critical ingredients to ensuring open and accountable government."
For additional information on the League's work in these areas, visit the League's Openness in Government Web page here.
The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.