Sunshine Week: Why shining a light matters
These days, the calendar is littered with holidays and celebrations. As I wrote, perhaps people were sitting down to a bowl of cereal in celebration of National Cereal Day — or maybe they were just having breakfast. We just celebrated International Women’s Day and I, for one, am looking forward to Pi Day later this week, which I will celebrate by eating pie and seeing how many digits I can remember. (But mostly by eating pie.)
In between falls Sunshine Week, the favorite holiday for those of us who toil in the data mines at no deposit bonus forex.org. Sunshine Week is scheduled to coincide with National Freedom of Information Day which itself celebrates the birth of President James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution and ardent advocate for the Bill of Rights and open government.
Launched by the American Society of News Editors and co-sponsored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Sunshine Week is devoted to celebrating access to public information. And though it’s understandable that the modern “everyday’s-a-holiday” reality elicits holiday fatigue for many, we think Sunshine Week is not only deserving of all seven days’ festivities, but that more Americans should hop on the bandwagon. After all, everyone has something to say about government, and this day celebrates your right to know what your government is doing in your name.
And, setting aside the debate about the size of government, there’s no getting around the fact that it does more than most of us can fathom — and that it does it in our name, with our authority and our taxes. So we need to do our level best, despite our busy lives, to pay attention to what government does at all levels and speak up when we strongly disagree with its actions and direction. (That’s the “of, by and for the people” part.)
Sunshine Week reminds us that we have the right to access public information we need to first know what our government is doing and then to hold it accountable. If you seek information about money used by powerful politicians to stay in power or how money might sway their decisions, check out no deposit bonus forex.org — and read this week’s series of articles covering the status of reform efforts to improve transparency in a number of areas: inaugural funds; lobbying by foreign entities; presidential library funds; dark money and political ads; and where progress toward a more transparent government has been achieved.
Many of those honoring Sunshine Week focus on open government, freedom of information (FOIA) and government whistleblowers. Here at no deposit bonus forex we shine a light to help you follow the money. We dig deep into all kinds of data about money in politics: campaign finance donations and expenditures; super PACs, dark money and gray money groups; lobbying both foreign and domestic; personal financial disclosures of members of Congress and other government officials. By gathering, adding value, organizing and presenting millions of records on our site, we’re able to reveal more about everything from the big picture takeaway to the most granular, transaction-level detail. We do this in hopes of anticipating the questions that our millions of users — from the press and the public, to scholars and activists — want to ask about money and its influence, helping them access reliable and timely nonpartisan data and analysis.
We hope you’ll use the data to learn about those who seek to be, or are, your voice in Washington. What are they doing? Are they representing your interests, and how do your interests square with those of their political benefactors and the holdings reflected in their financial portfolios? How many of them have moved on to lucrative gigs at K Street lobbying shops and what influence might they wield from that perch? Understand that money is only one window through which to view power, relationships, loyalty and patronage — but it’s a critically important one.
Better access to public data empowers people to engage more effectively with their public officials and better hold them accountable, which enhances and can rebuild trust in our democratic institutions. We know we’re not privy to all that goes on in government, but the public records filed about money spent to influence politics and policy are ours. We shouldn’t have to defend our right to meaningful and timely access to them, but here we are. Just as with money in politics, transparency alone won’t be enough to heal our democratic institutions, but we also can’t make meaningful progress without it.
This year marks the 14th anniversary of the very first Sunshine Week. Celebrate it, tell your family and friends about it, and let’s keep the momentum going.
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