Marquette, Michigan – Darlene Allen of the Marquette Chapter of the Delta County League of Women Voters spoke with Todd Pazz on the 8th Day radio show this last Saturday. Sunshine week, an annual national event, brings light to the importance of open government, freedom of information and the voters’ right to know. Additional topics included the now-active Marquette Chapter of the Observer Corps of the League of Women Voters, where League members go to the Marquette City Council Meetings, Board of Light and Power Meetings, School Board Meetings, and so on to note what is being discussed and to prepare for the next step to expand the role of the League bringing information to the public.
The League’s history and efforts to recruit new members were discussed, as well as efforts underway for this midterm election season. The League of Women Voters plans to deliver a printed pamphlet to voters by the November 2018 election of the questions and answers that various candidates provide in response to the Leagues issues questionnaire. Youth involvement with politics, college recruitment and even high school opportunities for those 16 or older came up. Finally, a number of online resources and benefits of the League rounded out the discussion.
From the Marquette County Unit website, “Check out the candidates and the propositions at Vote411.org. Read about the candidates for the Michigan 109, Marquette City Commission, Marquette BLP, and the Negaunee City Council. Find out about any propositions on the ballot throughout Marquette County.”
Sunshine Week is probably best explained by their press release:
“The League of Women Voters of Delta County, Marquette County Unit is celebrating Sunshine Week during March 11-17,” said David Allen of the Marquette Unit. The League has supported Sunshine Week since its inception in 2005 as a way to highlight the importance of open government and freedom of information.
Allen added, “When I managed environmental litigation for the federal government, I was responsible for classifying documents and maintaining a public reading room, which is how I learned about the critical need for government transparency and an engaged public. As the coordinator of the League’s Observer Corps in Marquette, I’m thrilled to continue striving for an informed public that engages local government thoughtfully and effectively.”
The Observer Corps protects and strengthens the citizen’s right to know, and Sunshine Week is designed to highlight open government and freedom of information at the local, state and federal levels. The League promotes this nonpartisan effort to enlighten and empower individuals to play an active role in their government at all levels and give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger.
“Sunshine,” or openness in government, refers to two distinct areas: access to public records and access to public meetings. Every day, people have the right to know what actions their government is taking by attending public meetings and accessing public documents. You can help make Sunshine Week burn even brighter in 2018.
For more information on Observer Programs see the “Observing Your Government in Action – Protecting Your Right to Know – A Resource Guide” at https://www.lwv.org/observing-your-government-action-guide. Also, to learn more about the local Marquette County Observer Corps contact David Allen at 906-225- 9102 or email@example.com.