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Watchdog Group Launches Petition to Protect Brown Act

Californians Aware is asking voters to sign a petition that would protect key provisions of the Brown Act, the state's open-government law.

Californians Aware launched a petition drive Sunday to amend the California constitution to ensure that municipal meeting agendas continue to be offered to the public.

Presently, the state constitution requires entities under the jurisdiction of the Brown Act to be reimbursed by the state for their costs to provide meeting agendas to the public.

To save money, in June, the state Legislature gave California cities and counties the option of not posting meeting agendas and other reports. This action suspended a key provision of the Brown Act, which requires California cities, counties, school boards and special districts to conduct their meetings openly.

"Even though the law might not hold public officials accountable for no longer posting agendas or providing adequate descriptions of items on them, angry voters would hold them accountable, and political exposure has always been a far more powerful motivator of Brown Act compliance than legal exposure," stated Californians Aware on its website.

There is also a bill that would preserve the Brown Act provisions, but it remains in limbo in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after the state Senate passed it.

To read more about the petition, click here.

Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. July 23, 2012 at 06:06 PM
The Open Government Subcommittee for the Manhattan Beach City Council has been requested to gain approval of a Sunshine Ordinance to ensure residents that they receive maximum protections to ensure open government under the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act. Please email Mayor Pro Tem David Lesser (dlesser@citymb.info) and Councilmember Amy Howorth (ahoworth@citymb.info), the members of the subcommittee to express your support. Thank you. Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach
Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. July 25, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Watchdog Group Launches Petition to Protect Brown Act. The Brown Act and the California Public Records Act are two key laws protecting our freedoms in California. The Manhattan Beach City Council has a track record of consistently violating these laws diminishing our freedoms and negating open government . Please sign the petition to protect our freedoms in Manhattan Beach and throughout California. Edward C. Caprielian, Ph.D. Manhattan Beach Resident Member. Californians Aware

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