“We Want To Blow The Doors Of This Building Open”
by Paul Wolf - posted 12:14 am, January 21, 2014
Newly elected Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto two weeks into his term stated “We want to blow the doors of this building open to provide information”. Peduto served on the Pittsburgh City Council prior to becoming Mayor where he sponsored legislation that strengthened the Ethics Code, created the city’s first Campaign Finance Limits, established Lobbyist Disclosure and Lobbyist Registration and ended No-Bid Contracts.
Peduto with the assistance of Pittsburgh Council Member Natalia Rudiak supports an Open Data Ordinance that will implement a proactive approach in providing government information to the public.
Instead of requiring citizens to complete Freedom of Information requests and having the city to spend staff resources on gathering information which often takes weeks, the city is going to make as much information as possible available on its web site. Cities around the country are taking a similar approach.
Peduto is leading by example by making his daily schedule available on the city’s web site for all to see. With so many elected officials being part of a culture of secrecy, it is great to see a new Mayor who supports open and transparent government.
Meanwhile in New York State and in particular in the Buffalo area no one is blowing the doors of government open. We have government officials who are deeply entrenched in a culture of secrecy. I have tried to get the Mayor and the Buffalo Common Council to sponsor Open Data legislation but no one is interested. Listen to this brief interview by Jim Heaney to hear what he has to say about Byron Brown and Andrew Cuomo. Heaney has 35 years of experience in requesting information from elected officials.