Public Access Counselor and the Attorney General's office

I had an excellent conversation with Mr. Christopher Boggs from the Public Access Bureau of the Attorney General’s office. In short, he gave me the green light to publicly post any and all correspondence with his office, so without further ado:

 

Why am I making a blog post about this? For the record, my interest is about pursuing open and transparent governance. Mr. Boggs related how Illinois and Chicago have had a rash of corruption and heavy-handed tactics exhibited by our elected officials, and thus the recently updated FOIA and OMA laws are an attempt to bring power back to the citizens. I am very much inspired by this, because I have come to believe that we the people have given much of our power away, and I firmly believe that the most healthy thing is for us to take it back. Please note that I am not talking about anarchy; government, when executed within the proper boundaries, is critical and fundamental to society. I get that. But when government is bloated, rotten and corrosive, we need a way to either correct it or replace it. Isn’t that what we told England a few hundred years ago? In some ways, it seems the US has come full circle.

 

So my goal is not meant to make any one person or an entity look bad. Rather, my post is about encouraging others to fight for a healthy balance of power between the people and the decision-makers. Mr. Boggs, and the entire Public Access Bureau, are all about bringing sunshine into our government. Amen to that! I am all for it.

 

Mr. Boggs also lamented that the Bureau is terribly backlogged; I get the impression they are burning the candle at both ends. Tons of FOIA requests are being filed about the Chicago Public School system. I am so glad we are not embroiled in that. 🙂

 

So, I encourage you to join me in working for a balance. My personal journey has led me to push hard for changes in Controlled Choice (aka, Schools of Choice, Kindergarten Lottery, etc) by suggesting policy changes and interacting with board members (individually and as a group). Where is your path leading?

 

To aid in this effort, I have created a repository for FOIA documents. It is still really rough and takes a lot of work to maintain, but I wanted to get something out there with the hopes that it will evolve and because more organic.

 

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One Response to “Public Access Counselor and the Attorney General's office”

  1. pattsi Says:

    A bit of musing on my part since I am one of about 40 elected officials throughout the state attending the Leadership Academy offered by the UIUC Institute of Government and Public Policy. Just last Saturday we gathered to discussed an assigned book on Lincoln’s leadership skills and actions during the morning session. After lunch, the focus turned to handling “tough situations” with the media. The major take aways have to do with being truthful, giving the facts, if one does not have the facts let the media know when you will have them, when the next press conference will occur, do not leave out information, etc. So I am reflecting all of these admonitions that are not in play related to the recent happenings at the UFL and city of Urbana. What fascinates me the most is that the rewards are not for doing what we were being taught, but just the opposition–people who are straight forward, aka Gordan Gee is not stepping down and others get re-elected.


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