Next week is Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of open government around the United States started over a decade ago by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Transparency and accountability are understandably on the minds of many Americans today, with continued secrecy, overclassification and public officials evading accountability.
As in past years, we’re participating in Sunshine Week events. In 2015, the Freedom of Information Act needed your help. In 2016, we passed reforms to the Freedom of Information Act, together. In 2017, will be working with you to hold the Trump administration accountable for implementing those reforms, including the new FOIA.gov.
This year, we unfortunately also have to confront attacks on the legitimacy of free press and journalists head on. It’s a pivotal moment in our country’s history for defending the important of access to information and shared facts.
Please join the Sunlight Foundation in our new offices at WeWork White House for a frank and open discussion about where transparency and accountability stand around the country in 2017, followed by our annual Sunshine Happy Hour.
We’re honored to host some of the nation’s foremost experts in open government, including:
- Danielle Brian, Executive Director at the Project On Government Oversight
- Steven Aftergood, the Director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists
- Kevin Goldberg, Legal Counsel of the American Society of News Editors
Bring questions, ideas and comments on where we’ve been and where the nation needs to go next. We’ll collect and share them, as in past years. You can expect Sunlight’s team to share rays of hope from the state and local level, along with a reminder of how far the arc of openness has bent over the past decade.
Following our discussion, we’ll be mixing and mingle over pizza, wine and beer during our annual Sunshine Happy Hour. If the weather cooperates, we might even be able to invite you out on the balcony for some White House “oversight.”
We strongly encourage you to attend other Sunshine Week events in DC, including:
- Sunshine Week at the National Archives, featuring a conversation between David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress (March 13)
- Sunshine Week Kickoff at the Department of Commerce (March 14)
- 2017 D.C. Open Government Summit and Reception at the National Press Club (March 14)
- Accessing Information in the Age of Trump: Advice for Journalists and Watchdogs, at the Newseum (March 15)