Resist attempts to bring darkness to Sunshine Law
It is definitely easier to make important decisions if you are in a quiet room without nosy neighbors listening in. Talk story with family, speak intimately, hash it out.
But what if your decisions affect a lot of people? What if your neighbors were the ones who elected you to public service?
In order to make intelligent decisions, our elected officials require impartial information. But what is impartial and what is biased?
Everyone has a bias. Nonprofit versus profit has a bias. Privilege versus not-so-privileged has a bias. So we need a system that provides equal access to promoting our favorite bias. That way all information gets a voice.
Recently legislation was introduced intending to dampen the equality of bias. The Sunshine Law, designed to keep the flow of bias out in the open, has been under attack. It appears that the bias of privilege has been lobbying county councils statewide to relax the rules. Of course, the relaxation is designed to allow a tsunami of privileged bias to flood into the minds of those elected to serve us all.
The Big Island was the only county to say, “Are you kidding? Be real! No darkroom deals! Keep equal access intact! Let’s hear all biases equally!”
Mahalo, Big Island. The Sunshine Law might put a wet blanket on legislators’ private negotiations. But it also helps keep us not-so-privileged on dry, steady ground.