It's Sunshine Week here in DC and, well, the sun is shining which is an auspicious beginning. This is a hugely important national initiative launched six years ago about the importance of open government and freedom of information. How important? According to a Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University survey released today just 4% of the surveyed Americans believe the federal government is very open -- and 44% believe it is very secretive.
Participants in Sunshine Week activities which are held throughout the country include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know. Here in D.C. there are two panels on Wednesday at the National Press Club plus a lecture by Professor Lawrence Lessig that Sunlight and Omidyar Network are sponsoring on Thursday. More details tomorrow on both of these.Continue reading
Chris Soghoian writes at his blog Surveillance State about how Capitol Hill just got its first computer geek lawmaker. Last Saturday, Bill Foster, a physicist with a Ph.D. from Harvard, won a special election to replace former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who resigned late last year. Here's a lawmaker who no doubt understands the power of technology for Democratic renewal.
Lawrence Lessig writes that Foster is "the kind of CHANGE Congress needs."
Larry Lessig, renowned expert in intellectual property and Sunlight Advisory Board member, will launch his new "Change Congress" project in a Sunshine Week lecture on March 20. In this lecture -- sponsored by Sunlight and Omidyar Network -- Lessig will describe his decision to focus his academic interests on the issue of the systemic corruption of American democracy. He will explore the ways in which our democracy is threatened by corruption and ways we, as citizens, can respond.Continue reading