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3,000+ citizens call on Congress to Save the Data

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As of this morning, more than 3,000 citizens have signed an open letter to Congress to save online transparency programs from a drastic budget cut; this is an increase of nearly 1,000 people in the last two days. Our message is catching on and Congress is starting to pay attention.

For example, Federal News Radio’s latest in a series of excellent reports shows that we have the attention of some of the House’s senior appropriators.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, referring to the House Republicans’ decision to propose a partial restoration of the E-Gov fund as part of a short term continuing resolution, was reported as saying:

I think there is an awful lot that is going to happen between now and when we finally get the government funded for the rest of this year and next year, but certainly there is a recognition that money was needed.
Rep. Jose Serrano, the ranking member of the same subcommittee, reportedly said last week:
The detrimental effect of HR 1 on so many areas of government is clear—and perhaps no more so than on the efforts to ensure the government's IT infrastructure upgrades are proceeding on schedule and on budget....We cannot have a more streamlined, efficient and open government without using the best technology available. Unfortunately the cuts in H.R. 1 to e-government fund will have the unintended consequence of making government less accountable and transparent.
Similarly, yesterday’s Federal News Radio report described GSA Administrator Martha Johnson as remarking that the “e-government fund is critical in keeping these open government tools helping citizens understand how the government works”.

We need to keep up the pressure. Follow the link to help save the data.

Public Letter: Save Online Transparency Programs (updated 4/2/2011)