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Thursday, February 26, 2009

More people needed for transparency in Illinois

The other day I asked the Twitterverse, "Where are the Open Illinois people? And I don't mean the just Reform Commission." Not surprisingly, no one answered.

Today, Mike Murphy had an interesting article on Illinoize entitled, "Coverage of Ethics Reform Lacks Depth and Scope." Right off the bat he noted:

Ethics reform is not an issue that excites the public. So, I understand why media outlets short-change their coverage of the issue - when they have coverage at all.
The result of course is a sparse amount of context and important aspects of ethics reform are often go uncovered.

Which reminded me of something I read a few days ago on a Sunlight Foundation blog (What You Can Do For Transparency):

Transparency isn’t just something government does. It is an expectation of behavior. Citizens have to demand more transparency from government as well as educate themselves on what information is available and how it affects their lives.

After reading Mike's notes (linked in his article) from when he sat in on a recent meeting of the Joint Committee on Government Reform, it's apparent that if we leave it up to the bureaucrats, any meaningful transparency measures are going to be very slow in coming. More people need to get involved.

I did find these web sites:

  • For the Good of Illinois which seems to be focused on transparency in government with an emphasis on schools. It has a blog, but it hasn't been updated since January 12, 2009.
  • The Illinois Policy Institute has Open Illinois.

There's got to be more.

(I'm sure there's a difference between all this stuff, but for my purposes, ethics reform, transparency, and open government, are the same. Until further notice.)

Posted by Marie at February 26, 2009 10:18 PM

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