This morning Sunlight is sending an open letter to Congress on behalf of 13 organizations and more than 2,000 signatories that calls on legislators to save online transparency programs from budget cuts. With thousands of tweets and phone calls, we’re keeping up the pressure, but more is needed if we are to prevent these programs from going dark. If you haven’t already, follow the link to sign our open letter or be put in contact with your representative.
The cost of defunding USASpending.gov, Data.gov, the IT Dashboard, and other programs is high. These e-government initiatives help the government operate more effectively and efficiently, saving taxpayer money and helping public oversight. They increase economic opportunities for small business. They also increase citizen knowledge of and involvement in the democratic process. An open and accountable government is a prerequisite for democracy
We’ve been receiving a lot of media coverage in the last few days — NPR’s Marketplace, Le Monde, the Huffington Post, Politico, The Washington Examiner, The Dallas Morning News, and many others — but it’s not enough.
Congress will debate a budget bill that could enact these cuts in the next few days, unless they punt for a week while behind-the-scenes negotiations finish playing out (or the negotiations collapse and the government shuts down.) In any scenario, now is the time to make Congress hear your voice, before it is too late. Keep up the pressure.