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2018 Madison Andersen Award Winners

As recognition of the estimated 20,000 calls and emails urging Gov. Jay Inslee to veto Senate Bill 6617, which would exempt the state legislature from the Public Records Act and was passed in less than 48 hours with limited debate and hearings, the Washington Coalition for Open Government is breaking from its practice of honoring an individual with the James Madison Award. Instead, the 2018 award goes to the people of Washington for their advocacy of transparency. The Madison Award is given annually to an individual or organization whose commitment to the cause of open government is demonstrated through exemplary words or deeds. This year, individuals from around the state will be selected from those who called or wrote to the governor opposing SB 6617, to receive the Madison Award as representatives of the people of Washington.

“We the people must be constantly vigilant, or risk government being taken over by special interests instead of focusing on broad public interests,” said Toby Nixon, WCOG president. “This year, we honor watchdogs in the media and the people of the state who spoke out and demanded legislative transparency. But none of us can rest on our laurels – the vigil must be kept!”

The unusual selection of awards acknowledges the multiple and ongoing efforts to raise awareness of legislative efforts to weaken Washington’s Public Records Act, which was enacted in 1972 by a ballot initiative.

To read more about the award winners, click here

Transparency and public participation are building blocks of good government.

The Coalition was formed to act as an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated promoting and defending the People’s right to know in matters of public interest and in the conduct of the public’s business. The Coalition’s driving vision is to help foster open government processes, supervised by an informed and engaged citizenry, which is the cornerstone of democracy.

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