Coalition Appreciates Your Support.

Coalition Appreciates Your Support

By Juli Bunting

As we look back on 2017, it hasn’t been a great year for our country. People in California are fleeing massive wildfires as folks in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico still try to recover from an ugly hurricane and flood season. Here at the Washington Coalition for Open Government, we understand the demands for your giving dollars are many and we deeply appreciate it when you consider us as potential beneficiaries. Here’s why donations to WCOG are a good idea.

We can all agree knowing what government is doing in our name and with our resources is the cornerstone of our democracy. But if we do not remain constantly vigilant, that principle can be challenged, thwarted and even eliminated. Here in Washington, we are fortunate to have a strong Open Public Meetings and Public Records Acts that preserve our basic rights to access government information and meetings. In recent months, transparency has been challenged in many ways on the federal level and we want to ensure open government remains a priority for our lawmakers here in Washington state.

Remember:

  • When the University of Washington Board of Regents selects the new President in secret (no matter how wonderful their choice) it chips away at our democracy.
  • When County Commissioners declare themselves in session 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to circumvent the state’s open meetings law, it chips away at our democracy.
  • When public officials use private cell phones for public business and then claim privacy when the public wants a record, it chips away at our democracy.
  • When the EPA is told to scrub scientific data that WE paid for, it chips away at our democracy.
  • When public officials conceal the facts to get away with a lie to us, it chips away at our democracy.
  • When the state with some of the strongest transparency laws in the nation allows its legislature to exempt itself from those laws, it takes a sledgehammer to our democracy.

WCOG needs your dollars to halt these efforts to chip away at our democracy, both at the state and federal level in collaboration with our open government advocates in other states. We have always been incredibly fiscally responsible at WCOG. We have a volunteer board; a small, dedicated, staff; and very little overhead. But we need funds to continue our mission of educating the public and public officials about the state’s Open Public Meetings Act and Public Records Act. We need funds to continue our mission of monitoring the legislature so our laws are only strengthened, and to continue our mission of litigating open government issues when needed.

An average donation of $100 from our members would fund WCOG for a year. It would allow us to continue to take a stand for transparency and ensure that public officials are not getting away with attacking our democracy.

Political observer and national columnist Molly Ivins once said democracy isn’t something you HAVE. It’s something you DO. So let’s DO this. Let’s get out there and vote. Let’s hold our public officials accountable. And please, let’s give to WCOG generously now and show our commitment to transparency and democracy.

Return to the December 2017 Newsletter