[Libs-Or] Fwd: [ALA-WO:233] Sunshine Week: Are We Safer in the Dark? (Register by March 6th)
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Subject: [ALA-WO:233] Sunshine Week: Are We Safer in the Dark? (Register by March 6th)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 09:21:31 -0500
From: "ALAWASH E-MAIL" <ALAWASH at alawash.org>
To: ALA Washington Office Newsline <ala-wo at ala.org>
ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 15, Number 22
Date: February 27,2006
In This Issue: You need to know -- Are We Safer in the Dark?
Sign up by March 6th to join the nationwide conversation on March 13th.
Sunshine Week: Are We Safer in the Dark? A Dialogue on Open Government
Brought to you by: American Association of Law Libraries, American
Library Association, American Society of Newspaper Editors /Sunshine
Week, Association of Research Libraries, Coalition of Journalists for
Open Government, League of Women Voters, National Freedom of Information
Coalition, OpenTheGovernment.org, and
Special Libraries Association.
In celebration of Sunshine Week, a panel of experts from around the
country will discuss open government and secrecy - the problems
confronted, the impacts on communities, and what the public can do.
Locally-sponsored programs in communities around the country will
continue the discussion of openness issues in their communities.
During the 90-minute national conversation, speakers & video segments
created to spur discussion will address:
* Do federal laws such as the Freedom of Information Act fulfill their
promise to guarantee openness in government?
* How do laws passed and policies/regulations implemented since 9/11
encourage secrecy or openness?
* How does transparency (or a lack thereof) affect the government's
readiness and response to disasters such as Sago Mines and Hurricane
* What about the public's ability to plan and respond - or to prevent
* How do secrecy and openness influence the personal choices you make to
ensure the education, safety and well-being of your families?
* What tools and resources work effectively in safeguarding the public's
ability to hold government accountable?
Monday, March 13, 2006, 1:00pm - 2:30pm ET. Local programs will
follow.(Local times will vary)
The program will be broadcast from the National Press Club in
Washington, D.C. Sites across the country will view the broadcast and
hold programs of their own.
Organizations and institutions can be host sites and/or local sponsors.
* The cost is $200 until February 15. From February 16-March 6, cost is
$250. Sites should register and pay at <http://tinyurl.com/c57xr.>
* Directory of Registered Sites will help you identify groups in your
area sponsoring an open local program.
Hurricane Katrina highlighted massive government failures to provide
up-to-date and accurate information to the public both before and after
the failure of the levees. Recent news accounts of tragedies in mines
show public safety threats are exacerbated when government
inappropriately withholds information.
Transparency can help government and the public get timely information
before a disaster strikes - and help it cope after.
What about your community? Is government at all levels telling the
public enough to enable us to keep our families safe?
1. Introduction by Geneva Overholser*
Secrecy and access -- why should we care? A video montage is planned.
2. Theory and practice of openness and secrecy at the federal level:
Discussion with Tom Blanton*, Tom Susman*,and Barbara Peterson* with Q&A
from audience and by phone and email.
3. Why the public should care: Public safety and personal impacts.
Videos and discussions with reporters on Katrina, mine safety, school
safety; experience of Florida First Amendment foundation with Q&A from
audience and by phone and e-mail.
4. What now/what next? Discussion among panelists and audience about
what policies and procedures promoting transparency can help prepare us
for - and possibly prevent - the next crisis?
View regularly updated program information at:
* Geneva Overholser, Moderator
Overholser holds an endowed chair in the Missouri School of Journalism's
Washington bureau. She is a former editor of the Des Moines Register,
ombudsman of the Washington Post and editorial board member of the New
* Thomas Blanton
Blanton is Director of the National Security Archive at George
Washington University in Washington D.C.
* Thomas Susman
Before becoming a partner in the Washington, DC office of Ropes & Gray,
Susman served on Capitol Hill for over 11 years.
* Barbara Petersen
Petersen is executive director of the Florida First Amendment
Foundation, a state coalition that protects and advances the public's
constitutional right to open government by providing education and
training, legal aid and information services.
About Sunshine Week
The first national "Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know" was launched in
March 2005 and will be celebrated in 2006 from March 12-18. Sunshine
Week's intent is to raise awareness of the importance of open government
to everyone in the community, not just journalists.
Go to the events page
<http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/washevents/events.htm> for other ALA
Sunshine Week events, including the Madison and the Cooke awards.
ALAWON (ISSN 1069-7799) is a free, irregular publication of the American
Library Association Washington Office. All materials subject to
copyright by the American Library Association may be reprinted or
redistributed for noncommercial purposes with appropriate credits.
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ALA Washington Office, 1615 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., First Floor,
Washington, D.C. 20009-2520; phone: 202.628.8410 or 800.941.8478
toll-free; fax: 202.628.8419; Web site: <http://www.ala.org/washoff
<http://www.ala.org/washoff> >. Executive Director: Emily Sheketoff.
Office of Government Relations: Lynne Bradley, Director; Don Essex,
Melanie Anderson, Erin Haggerty, Patrice McDermott and Miriam Nisbet.
Office for Information Technology Policy: Rick Weingarten, Director;
Carrie Lowe, Kathy Mitchell, Carrie Russell. ALAWON Editor: Bernadette
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