Let the sunshine in for a transparent government

Governor’s Press Secretary Sterling Ivey reported to the local St. Johns County news that Governor Crist has signed a proclamation designating March 14th – 20th as Sunshine Week in Florida.

WHEREAS, James Madison, the father of our Constitution, wrote that consent of the governed means informed consent that “a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives;” and

WHEREAS, our founders thus firmly believes that a free society cannot exist without an informed citizenry and an open and accessible government; and

WHEREAS, Open government is a basic principle for our democracy and access to government information is essential for a free electorate to make informed decisions; and

WHEREAS, Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are protected by the First Amendment and are cornerstones of all democratic societies and valued as important fundamental rights by all Floridians; and

WHEREAS, the State of Florida provides its citizens access to government documents and meetings through the Constitution, open government laws, and the Sunshine Law; and

WHEREAS, the celebration of sunshine in government began in Florida in 2002 by the Florida Society of News Editors and Florida has been a leader in open government ever since; and

WHEREAS, Sunshine Week 2010 will provide Floridians with an opportunity to learn about the benefits of open and transparent governmental operations;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Charlie Crist, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing March 14 – 20, 2010 as Sunshine Week.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 26th day of January, in the year two thousand ten.

Charlie Crist
Governor

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