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The League View appears weekly on Sundays in the Hendersonville Times-News.



This year all Americans celebrate the 90th birthday of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment:
Amendment XIX
1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
After the ratification of this amendment, the leaders of the suffragist movement, led by Carrie Chapman Catt, organized the League of Women Voters to educate the newly franchised women to use their vote effectively.
This year the League of Women Voters celebrates their 90th birthday on February 14. The League of Women Voters of Henderson County celebrates its 44th year as a member of this national organization.


The League of Women Voters is a strong advocate for citizen attendance at open meetings and a strong advocate supporting access to public information.
Let us define an ‘Open Meeting.’ To protect the transparency of government, every state has laws mandating that government business be conducted in meetings to which the public has access. To help citizens participate in government and to understand how government acts affect their daily lives, the decision making process of government must be conducted in full view of the governed. This applies to all governing bodies, elected or appointed from the federal to the local level. In addition to Sunshine Laws guaranteeing access to public meetings, states have laws ensuring access to public documents. These are often similar to the federal Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.


By proclamation of the governor Sunshine Week 2010 will be from March 14 to 20. The new challenges to Sunshine Laws and Freedom of Information is in the preservation of electronic information. Governor Perdue initiated Sunshine Week as a response to ensure preservation of records comply with public records laws. In addition to concerns over the preservation of electronic records, the Governor has also challenged state departments to follow the sunshine laws when dealing with electronic social media. She has issued a policy covering instructions on social media and to make sure public records and archiving laws are being preserved in the process using sites such as her Facebook page as an example. Click on www.governor.state.nc.us and click on an icon for one of the governor’s social networking sites.


Many citizen groups work for transparency in government. An organization called North Carolina Open Government Coalition, www.ncopengov.org, is one of the state groups besides the League working to ensure our state government works as transparently as possible. On their website interested citizens will find a link to several resources including a link to the general statutes on NC Open Meetings Law and NC Public records Law and other information. In addition they have a link to Laws relating to confidential records. This document is published by the Government Records Branch of NC Department of Cultural Resources and explains what government records are not considered public. Sunshine laws ensure open government. Citizen participation and vigilance insure democracy.



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P. O. Box 2238, Hendersonville, NC 28793