Letter on Californians Aware Ballot Measure

San Diego’s elected officials are being asked to approve a ballot measure proposal submitted by the public about the public’s right to know, and the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hopes they do.

We believe public access to information is a crucial element of journalism and a free society, and we wanted to share our letter to San Diego City Council members with you. A council committee Wednesday sent the measure to city attorneys for their analysis.

Here is the letter we submitted:

The board of the San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists unequivocally believes that the public’s business should be done in public and that every citizen has the right to use open records laws to track what government does in our name. Yet it’s been argued that if a politician or a government bureaucrat uses a personal device, even to conduct the public’s business, then it should be considered private. In other words, it’s none of the public’s business. This is nonsense. That’s why our board believes it’s time to close this loophole. We support the efforts of Californians Aware and its president, Donna Frye, to have the San Diego City Council put a measure on the June ballot to require that public business done on personal devices be subject to the California Public Records Act disclosure requirements.

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