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Tag Archive: Open Meetings

Local Advocate Helps Amp Up Atlanta Open Meetings Law

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States have complex levels of authority over municipalities, but that doesn't stop cities from crafting transparency reforms that lead locally and could impact state operations, too.

This week, Atlanta proved to be a great example of such leadership. The city council unanimously approved an amendment to the open meetings ordinance making it stronger than the language of Georgia's state law.

The events leading up to this change are explained in this story by Matthew Charles Cardinale of Atlanta Progressive News. Cardinale helped draft and push for the legislation after filing a lawsuit challenging closed-door sessions of city council committee meetings. Cardinale argued that there was case law, decided by the Court of Appeals of Georgia, supporting his position that even some meetings without a quorum of members have to be open to the public. State law only explicitly states that meetings with a quorum have to be open.

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How Washington State is using Legislative privilege to stifle Right to Know

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog. Jason Mercier is the Director of the Center for Government Reform at Washington Policy Center. He is also a contributing editor of the Heartland Institute's Budget & Tax News, a columnist for Northwest Daily Marker, a contributing author at State Budget Solutions, serves on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, and was an advisor to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee. In 1972, Washington State voters overwhelmingly enacted Initiative 276, providing citizens with access to most records maintained by state and local government. The new law created the Public Records Act (PRA). The preamble to the PRA says: “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created.

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