Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#40 / Mr. Brown

Ralph M. Brown (pictured) was an elected member of the California State Assembly from 1943 (the year I was born) until 1961 (the year I graduated from high school).

Before term limits, in other words! There's a lesson in there, somewhere.

As Jon Carroll says in an excellent column that appears today, February 9th, in the San Francisco Chronicle, and as others have noted, Julian Assange (a real person) seems to share a number of characteristics with Lisbeth Salander (a fictional creation). Both of these characters seem to take for granted that governmental information should be disclosed to the public. "Kicking the hornet's nest," it's called.

Well, Mr. Brown had the same idea.

To be able to use the powers of government, which are the powers we mobilize, together, to create the world we most immediately inhabit, we must have access to the same information that our elected representatives do. The Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act gives us access to the tortuous inner passages of that "hornet's nest" that passes for government in these parts.

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