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Brought to you in celebration of Sunshine Week by OpenTheGovernment.org, American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, American Society of Newspaper Editors / Sunshine Week, Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, League of Women Voters, the National Freedom of Information Coalition, and the Special Libraries Association. Hurricane Katrina made clear the important role of government in protecting the American public. Sadly, the federal government has expanded secrecy and limited the public's ability to know what government is doing. What about your community? Is the government at all levels telling the public enough to make our families safer? A national panel of experts from around the country will discuss open government and secrecy -- the problems we are facing with it, how it impacts communities, and what the public can do about it. Locally sponsored programs in communities around the country could discuss how communities can keep all levels of government open. Panel Discussion starting in Washington, DC linked via satellite to locally hosted discussions in communities across the country. When Monday, March 13, 2006 in the afternoon, local programs following. (Exact time TBD) The first national "Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know" was launched in March 2005 and will be celebrated in 2006 from March 12-18. Sunshine Week's intent is to raise awareness of the importance of open government to everyone in the community, not just journalists. Themes for the Discussion Are We Safer in the Dark? An Overview A brief overview of why secrecy is needed, the problems, and how unnecessary secrecy has a real-life impact on ordinary Americans. Public Perspectives Americans talk about how they use openness to help keep community safe. How Secrecy Works A look from the inside at how the government's power to keep secrets grows and how the secret keepers wield that power in the courts, Congress and the executive branch, undermining oversight and open public debate of controversial issues What We Can Do: A 21st Century Vision for Openness in Government Community Perspectives The panel discussion will be followed by discussions organized by local communities about how government secrecy and openness shape local issues and the lives of viewers, and what the public can do about it.
CREW promotes ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests.