Foya, Fome, Fothem

This snuck unreported in the media’s coverage of Obama’s first day…..but might end up being one of the most important early decisions that he can make: renewing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA: pronounced fo-ya). His memo about the new administration’s approach to FOIA flies directly in the face of the Bush administration’s MO of hiding everything; and stands in direct example of his intent for an open and honest government. 

There is a lot about FOIA to know and understand – you can find out more here – but in it’s simplest and most often used form, it’s a check and balance to public government. It is vital that officials know that the media and public can research, look into, and investigate actions…and keeps a level of honesty that doesn’t exists without that openness.

Your local and national media rely on this act for research, and your local and national politicians widely despise this act for it’s ability to expose stuff. Those two angles pretty much define the act’s importance. 

I say ‘go try it sometime.’ Wanna know how much your Mayor makes? FOIA. Wanna know how your city evaluates employees? FOIA. Wanna know how much the new computer system in finance costs? FOIA. Wanna see those e-mails that went between town officials and that huge business? FOIA. 

Seriously, try it sometime. You’ll get to know your city officials in ways that you never thought possible. Trust me on that one. 

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