Harry Pozycki: Don’t gut the Open Public Records Act

In an op-ed published by the Bergen Record, Harry Pozycki suggests improvements to Governor Murphy’s proposal to gut the state’s Open Public Records Act. Harry and The Citizens Campaign played a key role in passing OPRA in 2001. Thanks to this “Sunshine Law,” NJ residents can now find out details of their cities’ current policies, which empowers them to research solutions that would improve or build on those policies. In training from The Citizens Campaign, this is an essential part of “Citizenship in the 21st Century” that can empower citizen leaders to step up and engage in public service by proposing evidence-based solutions.

Harry writes: “Gov. Phil Murphy and the state Legislature recently gutted our state’s strong pay-to-play protections. Now our “leaders” seem to be preparing to go backwards once again. This time, they are at work curbing government transparency and accountability. A bill recently introduced in Trenton would take a wrecking ball to The New Jersey Open Public Records Act, the law that provides citizens with the right to access policies, contracts, and other records in their towns and our state.

…As we revisit The Open Public Records Act, let’s set our sights higher, aiming to make New Jersey a model for the nation in transparency and the empowerment of its citizens, rather than paving the way to a return to the old days of keeping citizens in the dark.”