In the middle of a tumultuous budget battle and a recently passed omnibus with nearly 9,000 earmarks, Sunshine Week comes an at appropriate time. The week is an effort by government transparency supporters to encourage openness and enhance discussion. Several organizations are hosting events this week and the site boasts an impressive list of participants from around the country. Though media outlets are doing their part, regular citizens are simply encouraged to talk. Says the website:
"The only requirement is that you do something to engage in a discussion about the importance of open government. It could be a large public forum or a classroom discussion, an article or series of articles about access to important information, or an editorial. The extent to which you participate is up to you."
Find ideas, a tool kit, press supplies and a Sunlight blog when you visit SunshineWeek.org. House Republicans, including Chairman Mike Pence and Rep. Jeff Flake, among others, have been vocal on the need for transparency in government. President Obama recently pledged to tackle the problem of earmarks and campaigned on a promise of greater transparency. Though he has yet to act on these promises, transparency is a bipartisan issue.