Bartlesville City Council candidate signs Open Government Pledge
A co-recipient of FOI Oklahoma’s Ben Blackstock Award has pledged that he and the Bartlesville City Council will comply with the letter and spirit of the state’s open government laws if he is elected Tuesday to the Ward 4 seat.
In signing FOI Oklahoma’s Open Government Pledge for local candidates, Joel Rabin also promised “to support at every opportunity” the state’s public policy that “the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power.”
Rabin faces incumbent Alan Gentges in the general election.
In 2014, Rabin and Sharon Hurst accepted the Ben Blackstock Award for winning a court ruling that Oklahomans could sue to enforce the state Open Meeting Act without having to prove they were individually injured by the alleged violations.
Rabin and Hurst spent thousands of their own dollars and a $1,000 grant from FOI Oklahoma – which they repaid – fighting for the right of all Oklahomans to sue to enforce the Open Meeting Act.
The state Court of Civil Appeals agreed with them in 2013. The Legislature amended the statute in 2014 to reflect that ruling.
FOI Oklahoma invites all candidates for state, local and legislative seats to sign the pledge on FOI Oklahoma’s website, where a list of signers also can be found.
Since FOI Oklahoma began the pledge in 2008, 186 candidates have signed — with 95, or 51 percent —being elected at least once. FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to city council contests.
Joey Senat, Ph.D.
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, its board of directors or the commentator’s employer. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.