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Sacramento 2011 Sunshine Week Program: The Road Forward on Open Government

Without open government we wouldn’t know about the issues occurring with our city and state government. With open government we keep informed and we can make educated decisions on matters of interest to each of us. Recent events in California demonstrate the importance of open government.


By filing petitions under the California Public Records Act, the Sacramento Bee, and the Los Angeles Times exposed information that would not have come to light otherwise. For example, that of the sprinklers being turned off during the Westfield Galleria fire in Roseville, and the exorbitant salaries and compensation paid to the Bell city government employees – all information that was accessible because of open government.


On March 23, all individuals interested in learning more about open government and their role in assuring that government information is open to the general public will be gathering at Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.


Thomas W. Newton of the California Newspaper Publishers Association and Prof. John Cary Sims of Pacific McGeorge School of Law will be discussing open government during the Sacramento-Area “Sunshine Week” event at McGeorge School of Law on March 23, 2011, sponsored by Northern California library groups and the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County. Taking place after the national Sunshine Week, this local event will feature a panel discussion and will allow audience members to view the national Sunshine Week web-cast sponsored by the American Society of News Editors. The general public is invited to discuss open government issues with the panel and area librarians.


Register today! You may view a PDF version of our tri-fold brochure at:

Sunshine Week is a national initiative spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors about the importance of open government and the freedom of information. The event kicks off with the viewing of the national Sunshine Week 2011 Web Cast – The Road Forward on Open Government from Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by:
  • Northern California Association of Law Libraries (NOCALL)
  • California Library Association (CLA)
  • California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners (CALTAC)
  • Special Library Association/Sierra-Nevada Region
  • Sacramento League of Women Voters

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 (Pre register by March 20, 2011)
9:00am – 1:30pm

Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Classroom D
3285 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
(The N.W. corner of 5th Ave and 33rd Street)
Parking is free. Link to campus map & Parking Areas A-J at Classroom D is location 9 on the map.

Registration Fee: $20.00 per person ($25.00 at the door) Students: $15.00 per student ($20.00 at the door) Continental Breakfast and Lunch will be served.

Click here to register online. NOTE - Online registration is provided by Special Library Association/Sierra-Nevada Region. Using this link will open a new window for the Special Library Association/Sierra-Nevada Region website.

:9:00am – 9:30am        Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30 am – 11:00am     National Sunshine Week Web Cast
11:00am – 11:30am    Break
11:30am – 1:30pm      Lunchtime Panel of Local Speakers

Part I: National Web Cast: 9:30am – 11:00am

President Obama committed his administration to an unprecedented openness in government. Toward this end, the administration issued a number of policy changes, including a Memorandum of Freedom of Information Act, a new Executive Order (EO) on Classified National Security and an EO on Controlled Unclassified Information. Two panels of transparency experts from inside and outside government will discuss how the administration’s initiatives are being put into practice -- from both a policy and a technical standpoint -- and what more we can and should expect the Administration to do to meet its goal.

The first panel will cover the policy aspects of the Administration's Open Government Initiative. Invited panelists include David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, Steven P. Croley, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy, and Gary Bass, Executive Director, OMB Watch.Speakers on the second panel will discuss the effect technology has on the way people get and use information, how the government is trying to fill that need, and the strengths and limitations of the Administration's approach. OpenTheGovernment.Org will soon announce the panelists.

Part II: Lunchtime Local Panelists: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Thomas W. Newton is the general counsel and legislative advocate for the California Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA). As principal spokesman for the CPNA, Mr. Newton regularly presents testimony before legislative committees and other state boards and commissions. He oversees CNPA’s professional lobbyists on a number of issues, including those relating to the First Amendment and freedom of information. Mr. Newton is an editor of The Reporter’s Handbook on Media Law, and he has collaborated on various publications and articles, including Open and Public - A User’s Guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act (Editions I, II and III) and Summary: California Public Records Act. A graduate of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Mr. Newton is the two-time winner of the James Madison Freedom of Information Award and a recipient of the Bill Farr Freedom of Information Award.

John Cary Simsis professor of law at Pacific McGeorge School of Law, teaching courses on subjects that include Constitutional Law, National Security Law, International Protection of Human Rights, and Professional Responsibility. His extensive scholarship and invited presentations reflect his expertise in the principles furthered by the Sunshine Week initiative. Professor Sims graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as a member of the Harvard Law Review Board of Editors. Before turning to teaching, he was an attorney for 10 years at the Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington, D.C., handling a wide range of complex cases at all levels of the state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Professor Sims is a founding Co-Editor-in Chief of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, a peer-reviewed law review devoted to the broad range of issues related to national defense.

Click here to register online. NOTE - Online registration is provided by Special Library Association/Sierra-Nevada Region. Using this link will open a new window for the Special Library Association/Sierra-Nevada Region website.