We live in extraordinary times, where long held assumptions about America’s institutions are being challenged, and previously unthinkable questions about our democracy’s future are being asked. As we face the truth of the fragility of our democracy — that it relies as much on norms and tradition and restraint as on the Constitution and history and law—we recognize that we no longer have the luxury of remaining complacent about the durability of our system of government.
That awakening, while perhaps overdue, means we now know we must double-down on our efforts to defend and restore the core components of our democracy that ensure our institutions work and our leaders and decision-makers are accountable to the people. Our Constitution created a system of checks and balances and provided for a free press to help prevent the consolidation of power in one individual or one branch of government. That system has never been perfect, but the cracks in the foundation are deepening to the point that complacency is no longer an option.
One key component to mending the fissures and restoring accountability and responsiveness in government is transparency. Recognizing that knowledge is power and what we can’t see can hurt us, it is critical that the American people have access to information so we know how and why key decisions are made that have profound effects on our lives.
The Open the Government coalition is dedicated to ensuring that the people’s right to know remains intact and serves as the underpinning for creating a government that works for the welfare of the many, not the narrow interests of the few. An informed democracy is the antidote to claims of fiction as fact and facts as fake news. As we look back to the successes we had in 2017, we are inspired to continue our fight for a transparent and accountable government, creating a more informed electorate that can demand respect for and adherence to democratic fundamentals.
Open the Government