I’m on a public panel Thursday

posted by Mike on March 12th, 2007

I’ll be part of a panel on “Your Right to Know” this Thursday, 2pm, at WCCA (415 Main Street, Worcester, Massachusetts). This event is free and open to the public.

Sunshine WeekWe’ll be talking about how to get information about what the government is doing, and how the government often stonewalls private citizens, bloggers, and professional journalists. This is part of the national event called Sunshine Week.

Other panelists include blogger Bill Randell, Assistant District Attorney Patricia C. Smith, Jay Whearley of the Telegram & Gazette, and Jaime Flores of Vocero Hispano.

This discussion will be taped, and later broadcast on WCCA and posted to their website.

If you have suggestions for things we should discuss, comment away.

T&G article about the panel

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2 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On March 14, 2007 at 00:27 Shannon said:

    Sounds like a great event. I’ll have to check out the broadcast but the subject is as timely as could be.

    Just tonight at the City Council meeting, there was a tense exchange between the councillors about whether or not discussing Worcester Airport at this stage is actually compromising the city’s negotiations with MassPort. Some thought it should now be behind-closed-doors only while Rosen felt that we have a responsibility to have public discourse about backroom deals that ultimately affect us all (I’m paraphrasing of course). So for suggestions, I’d be curious about this idea of privacy during dealmaking. What levels of confidentiality are required or expected? With no input or insight into the process, all’s quiet until the outcome. Obviously I’m thinking about the lack of transparency with the city’s contract with Charter and any Walmart deal developments.

    On a personal note, I have only begun to understand how difficult it can be for the average resident to get information about a government process, particularly interdepartmental ones. How does a city project get approved? I’d love a workflow diagram with swimlanes, but I’d settle for a good narrative. How many people do I have to talk to in order to piece it all together? I can be fairly articulate, so I can’t imagine if I had a language barrier. Ugh sorry, lack of sleep is forcing me to rant.

    Well, good luck tomorrow!

  2. On March 14, 2007 at 08:39 Mike said:

    Noted airport blogger Bill Randell is on the panel, so you can bet there will be lots of airport-related discussion. Here is his take on confidentiality during the negotiations.

    This morning I am really sick, but if I get better I still hope to be a panelist.

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