Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. The Sunshine Review wiki collects and shares transparency information and uses a "10-point Transparency Checklist" to evaluate the content of every state and more than 6,000 local government websites. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and an accountable government.
The checklist for each entity is slightly different, please review them here:
We launched in July of 2008 and our President is Michael Barnhart. The Managing Editor is Kristin McMurray and the Senior Editor is Diana Lopez. In the past, Sunshine Review was a project of the Sam Adams Alliance (SAM), but in 2010 separated from SAM and launched its own organization dedicated to educating the public about affirmative disclosure and other open government initiatives.
The website addresses several areas of transparency, including state spending, state sunshine laws, and rating local government websites on transparency. Sunshine Review works with the National Taxpayers Union to develop information on state spending, and with the Lucy Burns Institute who runs the WikiFOIA project..
In March of 2010, the organization reported that it had evaluated over 5,000 government websites, including 3,140 counties, 805 cities, and 1,560 school districts. In March of 2010, Sunshine Review launched the Sunny Awards just prior to Sunshine Week to recognize the 39 local government websites that had score an A on their checklist.
- See also: FAQ
Upgrading to meet the checklist
St. Charles Parish, Louisiana re-did their website partly "in response to the critique [on Sunshine Review], which examined the sites of every parish in the state, she put the parish's budget online and is preparing to add information about how to obtain public records from the parish." Dupage County, Illinois promised to add county contracts to its website. Champaign County, Illinois was recognized by a local newspaper for its informative website based on Sunshine Review's evaluation of the county's website.
Anyone can edit the Sunshine Review
The Sunshine Review is a wiki website that anyone--including you right now--can edit by clicking on the "edit" link that appears in the horizontal menu bar across the top of every article. By helping to edit existing articles, add information, and fix mistakes, you can help improve and grow the site.
Where to start: Everything you need to know to get started on the Sunshine Review.
Please refer to these pages:
- Staff bios, press releases, press mentions for 2012
- 2011 press mentions
- 2008-2010 press mentions
Sunshine Review Community
Once you register on the site, you are considered an editor and a member of the Sunshine Review Community. There are several ways to interact with other editors, and we encourage you to do this. Editors can share tips, plan bigger joint projects, and get to know each other. Some ways to participate in the Sunshine Review community include:
- Sunshine Review:Community Check here for community updates, and to leave notes for other Sunshine Reviewers.
- State Sunshine Google Group Join this group to meet other Sunshine Review editors.
- Sunshine Review Projects Check here for news about collaborative projects on Sunshine Review.
- Sunshine Review:E-newsletter Check here for information about subscribing to an e-newsletter by and for fans of Sunshine Review.
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