Sunshine Week Could Bring Meaningful Change

march 10, 2016  10:00 am
Sunshine Week. It’s a thing. If you’re not aware of it, you should be. If you’re not participating in it, you should be. You can find out more on the Sunshine Week website. From events to content, there are so many ways to participate.

But this year you can really make a difference. That’s because we understand that S 337, the “FOIA Improvement Act,” may get to the Senate floor during Sunshine Week. Given that the House has already passed separate FOIA legislation, this gives us a real shot at getting the federal Freedom of Information Act updated for the 21st Century (hey, better late than never, right?). Your voice does matter – your Senators care about what their hometown media think, so let them know what you think via calls, editorials, emails, and tweets (remember to hashtag with #FixFOIAby50). Because your Senators care more about what their voters think, let the public know why this federal law matters to them. Two great ways to do this are via some cool pages created by the Sunshine in Government Initiative (AAN is a member of this nine member coalition of media organizations).

Check out SGI’s (1) Letter and Press Release on S 337; (2) “FOIA Files”, a compendium of news stories which were written using public records and (3) “Without FOIA” Tumblr which shows readers why open records laws matter. For more general background in helping you with your outreach, you can also look to SGI’s “FixFOIAby50” page that’s full of backgrounders, a fact sheet and other resources.

For more information about Sunshine Week, the FOIA Improvement Act or anything open records, you can always contact AAN Legal Counsel Kevin M. Goldberg at 703-812-0462 or