One of the most frustrating things I encountered as a small-town reporter was a lack of access to information: whether I was trying to find out about laws in the Roundhouse or enrollment rates at WNMU, sometimes I ran into brick walls and red tape.
I now work for the Sunlight Foundation and OpenCongress, two organizations that are dedicated to open government, transparency, and citizen engagement. We’re using the power of the Internet to empower citizens in the political process and help them hold lawmakers and other officials accountable.
I’ll be in Silver City next week (June 1 – 5) and while there I would like to try to share some of the techniques I’ve learned for keeping tabs on government. Now, I’m not doing this as an “official” Sunlight event, but it will be geared around what Sunlight calls “Insanely Useful Web Sites,” some discussion of good-government principles, and time for questions.
I know this is short notice, but if anybody is interested in learning about some of the new ways of digging up useful information (from voting records of senators to campaign finance records to information on copper smelters around the world) I’m willing to get together. Thursday evening (June 4) looks pretty empty on the ole community calender, so let me know if you’re interested?
If so, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If enough people are interested we will set a time and place.