Signs of spring are appearing in Washington – robins abound, crocuses are in bloom, food truck patrons eat outside rather than scurrying back to the office – and that can only mean one thing: Sunshine Week is nearly here!
We at OGIS eagerly anticipate this weeklong (March 11-17, 2012) celebration of government openness, scheduled to coincide with James Madison’s birthday. Groups across the country organize events to promote openness in state and local governments; you can learn more about local events (and how you can nominate a Local Hero from your own community for an award) at Sunshine Week’s website.
Several interesting Sunshine Week events are planned in Washington, DC, this year. On Monday March 12, the Department of Justice’s Office for Information Policy hosts a Sunshine Week celebration. OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a FOIA oversight hearing on Tuesday March 13. Friday March 16 will be particularly sunny, featuring the Fifth Annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration at the Washington College of Law at American University and the First Amendment Center’s National FOI Day event at the Newseum which features an afternoon program from OpenTheGovernment.org.
To add to the excitement, OGIS and the National Archives and Records Administration will have a Sunshine Week event of our own this year. Watch this space for an announcement in the coming weeks.