Friday, April 25, 2008

MN COGI on Minnpost

Earlier this week a post on this MnCOGI blog responded to a thoughtful post in Minnpost written by a unique team that included Marcia Avner, public policy director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Brian Rusche, executive director of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, Dane Smith president of the Growth & Justice think tank; and Ray Waldron, president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO.

Theirs was an impassioned rejection of the proverbial slash and burn “no new taxes” fallacy and a call for people of good will to get a grip on the public good. Mine was a reminder that those people depend on a transparent government and access to timely, accurate, reliable information by and about their government -- from the feds down to the local township and school system. Thanks to Susan Albright, MinnPost published that response today.

The good news -- a virtual sheaf of emails this afternoon affirms that lots of Minnesotans and MinnPost readers depend on and care deeply about the issue.

The goal of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information (MnCOGI) is to shed light on the reality that a solid base of information is the absolute sine qua non of a democracy. The pillars that support that base are threatened by a host of forces -- the arrogance of government behind closed doors, concentration of media, instant dissemination of misinformation, classroom focus on testing over critical thinking skills. Add your bete noir to the Litany of Threats..

Hope lies in collaboration among those who shape the conversations and the decision-making mores of the public -- teachers, journalists, bloggers, politicians, librarians, researchers, lawyers, religious leaders, these and countless other people of good will who seek the truth, speak the truth, and help others to understand and ultimately shape a decent, caring, informed, even wise electorate that lessens fear and embraces freedom.