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Watchdog Group Launches Petition to Protect Brown Act

Californians Aware is asking voters to sign a petition that would protect key provisions of the Brown Act, the state's open-government law.

A Sacramento-based organization launched a petition drive Sunday to amend the California constitution and ensure that municipal meeting agendas continue to be offered to the public.

In June, the state Legislature gave California cities and counties the option of not posting meeting agendas and other reports to save money. This action suspended a key provision of the Brown Act, which requires California cities, counties, school boards and special districts to conduct their meetings openly.

On Sunday, Californians Aware launched a petition drive to place a proposition on the statewide ballot.

"Even though the law might not hold public officials accountable for no longer posting agendas or providing adequate descriptions of items on them, angry voters would hold them accountable, and political exposure has always been a far more powerful motivator of Brown Act compliance than legal exposure," stated Californians Aware on its website.

There is also a bill that would preserve the Brown Act provisions, but it remains in limbo in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after the state Senate passed it.

To read more about the petition, click here.

Laura Calderon July 24, 2012 at 12:56 PM
As a citizen of Suisun, I would like to applaud our City Council for choosing to continue posting agendas to maintain this valuable act of transparency. Thank you, thank you. We must, must continue transparency! We are the tax payers, we elected them, and it is our government! The Brown Act was passed by the same people that voted them in. Why would the State think all of the sudden that we would not want this anymore? Are they kidding? It just shows how out of touch the State really is with its people.
David Ryan (Editor) July 25, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Timely agendas are just good general practice and promote trust between residents and their city government. Actual transparency in local government would be to make City Hall entirely out of glass. Just kidding.

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