Need more access to power in Mich.

To the editor:

Are politicians trustworthy? Are they following the will of the people? These are important questions that perhaps we can all agree we’d like an answer to.

How can we answer these questions? The answer: By checking up on the actions of our governor and legislators. How can we check up on them? By attending their town halls, by sending reporters to talk to them, by televising their deliberations, and by requesting public records that they generate that show the details of what they are doing.

This is what the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) means. Do we have this kind of access in Michigan? The answer is a resounding “No.” Michigan ranks last among the 50 states with a grade of F from the State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of state government transparency and accountability conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity. Michigan received an F in 10 of the 13 categories of government operations that were examined.

Should we put up with our representatives and elected leaders refusing to be open with us? I do not believe we should put up with it. And neither does a bipartisan majority of the Michigan House who recently passed a set of ten bills designed to bring Michigan into better compliance with Freedom of Information Act practices. Now the bills are in the Michigan Senate and they need our support. Please support greater transparency and accountability in government. We have to know what they’re doing to know if we agree with it or not. Please let Sen. Tom Casperson know that you want him to support these bills: http://www.senatortomcasperson.com.

Faith Morrison