The Modern Policy Institute
An open government requires a restructuring of existing policy.
This means tearing down barriers to openness.
And trusting the public.
As a 501(c)3, we do not engage in direct lobbying and we limit our advocacy for particular policies. However, there are some policies we are interested in reforming, which we will study and provide resources for those who will directly enact change.
Vote by Mail
It’s critical that people have time to research their choices and voting by mail allows this. Coupled with voter information systems, the voter can take the time to fully research the candidates and their positions. Ideally there would only be one election day per year—the 4th of July. November elections compete with critical 4th quarter commercial advertising budgets, which increases costs. The cold, inclement weather in much of the north further discourages voters and presents unforeseen barriers to voting.
Open Meetings and Sunshine Laws Reform
Freedom of information is not equally guaranteed in all fifty states. Ohio never actually removes any public official from office for violations, while Florida does often. We plan on studying best practices among all fifty states and the Federal Government. We believe that all levels of government should have elected ombudsmen who will be responsible to advocate for citizens to ensure these rules are adhered to. Freedom of information isn’t guaranteed by the Constitution, but it should be.
The primary reason we are advocating for open-source tools to make government more accessible is because we strongly believe in an open government. Considering our current technological capabilities, going through the process of complying with public records requests does not fulfill the promise of an open government. Public records should be accessible by the public through searchable, ADA compliant databases that are provided free of charge through the internet. This includes tax information, so individuals can easily look up to see how much they are taxed and how much neighboring jurisdictions are taxed. If a corporation receives tax abatement, it should be noted and the authorization for the tax abatement and those responsible should be linked to (along with any donor connections).