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National Dialogue on Open Government and Secrecy: Sunshine Week 2008

There’s a new, updated “Save the Date” announcement for the Third National Dialogue on Open Government and Secrecy, that will take place on March 19, 2008 from 1 – 2:30 PM (EST) on the Open the Government website. The topic is "Government Secrecy: Censoring Your Right to Know" You can participate in person at the National Press Club in Washington DC, or join the conversation online anywhere.

The scheduled discussions are:

The Secret Executive — What Can Congress and the Public Do?

Confirmed Speakers: Mickey Edwards, Director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership and former Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma for 16 years (1977-92), Ann Beeson, Director of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Institute and previously Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, and John Podesta, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress, Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, and formerly in senior staff positions in Congress, will discuss executive branch power and secrecy, congressional rights and responsibilities, and the role of the press in combating government secrecy. Patrice McDermott, Director of, will moderate the discussion.

Citizen Self-Help: Finding the Information You Need

We will be visiting and talking with creators of web sites that help the public avoid having to file official requests or go to offices and meetings to learn what our government is doing. These sites make hard-to-find government information — federal, state and local — easy for the public to find and use and may inspire you to do likewise. A quick report will be given, as well, on an initiative to develop a 21st Century Right-to-Know agenda and recommendations for the next President and Congress.

In each segment, opportunities will be available for audience questions from all participants.

There’s lots more information on the Open the Government dot org website. The Sunshine Week website has information about activities for Sunshine Week, March 16 – 22, 2008.

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