Transparent California Says Hello to Sunshine Week

Each year, Transparent California is proud to take part in a national celebration of government transparency known as Sunshine Week. Founded in 2005 by the American Society of News Editors, Sunshine Week is a yearly reminder of the right of every American to access government records.

The story began in 1966, when the federal government enacted the Freedom of Information Act. This made it possible to request public records from federal agencies. Exactly 20 years after the act was passed, March 16 was declared National Freedom of Information Day.

Two years later, in 1968, Governor Reagan signed into law the California Public Records Act which mirrored many of the standards of FOIA but at a state level. Nearly 40 years later, the California Constitution was amended by voters to protect the right of the public to know.

Article I, section 3 of the California Constitution made it crystal clear, “The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.”

When Transparent California was launched in 2014, we knew our site would have a responsibility to bring the voters of the Golden State the most up-to-date information possible to enable them to make informed decisions. Open access to information is crucial when it comes time to vote.

We believe firmly in Thomas Jefferson’s observation that, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”

It is the duty of every Californian to hold their leaders accountable, and open records are foundational to that duty.

This Sunshine Week, we are excited to bring you special editorials, interviews, and major announcements all centered around the celebration of open records at both the state and national level. It’s going to be a bright week, so be sure to stay tuned.

Categories: Blog