The Citizens’ Sunshine Ordinance, an independent citizens’ group in Berkeley which has nothing to do with sunshine, recently submitted a government ordinance to the Berkeley City Council that would make all city records, except those otherwise protected by law, available to the public Six Reasons Why movies .

Basically what this means is that Berkeley will save a lotta clams by curtailing the number of citizen lawsuits that happen to be in vogue now. Essentially, it’s like putting that gigantic “smoking kills” warning on the packet of cigarettes, so you can’t go knocking on the door of Marlboro when you’re smoking through your throat. When everyone knows the rules and procedures, they can be enforced without lawsuits, and disputes can be settled at the local, rather than federal, level.

The Planet lists some of the features of the Citizens’ Sunshine Ordinance:

• “It removes vague and confusing language and procedures that are in the city Aattorney’s (sic) draft. It empowers the citizens of Berkeley to become involved in their city government by clarifying procedures for public comment and noticing of public meetings.

• It details procedures for meetings, record keeping, and enforcement, so everyone knows the rules and has the same information as decision makers and that this information is made available well in advance of decisions being made.

• It provides clear timelines and specifies exceptions for emergency situations.

• Creates means of enforcement that are quick and practical, without taking away the right to judicial review. This makes Sunshine work.”

We love that last line. We agree, it’s about time somebody cleared up the logistical confusion and made legal processes less of some kind of Cirque de Soleil contortionist act. And hey, it’s cancer-free.

Image Source: Richard Scott 33 under Creative Commons
Real Sunshine Could Be in Berkeley’s Future [Berkeley Daily Planet]



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