I would like to facilitate a discussion group about how open government comes about not just by asking nicely, but also by making demands, organizing, and seeking ways to inflict public embarrassment and legal consequences on government officials who refuse to be transparent.
Topics would include:
How can the public and the press work to increase Oakland officials' compliance with the Public Records Act?
Does the incoming 2013 City Council present opportunities for transparency reform, and if so, how do we work to make it happen?
How open should government be? How open should data be? When do we have enough transparency? For example: would requiring the City to post it's financial records in real time cross a line? Why or why not?
When is there legitimate need for the government to keep secrets? Is there a specific set of criteria we can agree on which make it necessary for a government record to be unavailable to the public? How long should a secret be allowed to remain secret?
And importantly: If asking nicely doesn't work, what legal, technological, and social means can the people use to force the government to become more transparent?