How is open government working today?
At our October Lunch with League, we were honored to hear Bert Robinson,
senior editor of the Bay Area News Group (which includes the Mercury News) talk
about his efforts to get information from local government departments so the
public can know what our government is doing for us.
Our League, along with Mr. Robinson, participated in the Sunshine task force several years ago which gave us a voice (or two) in helping to shape the local laws. He said the Sunshine laws recommended by the task force were mostly enacted by the city council and are working well.
One area that could improve is the ability to get city police reports. A new state law SB1421 (Skinner) should improve access to some of this data. Mr. Robinson has requested city police records pursuant to this law, but so far, this effort has been unsuccessful after a six-month effort. He plans to appeal to the city rules committee to at least get a schedule for the release.
He also announced the special series called “Who Owns Silicon Valley?” which required accessing many records from the assessor’s office, which he praised for being very forthcoming. The first of the series was published on Oct. 27.
Our local democracy is stronger when we have a free press with the resources and ability to help us all watch our government. You can help by supporting our local newspaper.
Don’t miss our next Lunch with League! See more HERE.
We are beginning our annual fundraising drive to raise enough money to support our efforts to make democracy work during the next busy year. We are asking our members and friends of the League for a donation and will be very grateful for any amount. Click below to help us make Democracy work. We appreciate all of our members and friends!
Carol Watts, President