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League of Women Voters of Alabama

March 20, 2017   

Dr. Anne Permaloff
334 717-8525
Transparency in Government Celebration to Honor Mobile Councilwoman

    The League of Women Voters of Alabama (LWVAL) will present Mobile Councilwoman Bess Rich with its Transparency in Government Award on April 29th. The awarding is part of a Transparency in Government Celebration to be held in Room 1927 at Mobile’s historic Saenger Theatre as part of LWVAL’s state convention activities in Mobile. Journalist Kyle Whitmire will be the speaker at the evening reception.

    Councilwoman Rich was nominated by one of her constituents who wrote: “Councilwoman Bess Rich has represented District 6 of the City of Mobile for 14 years in a manner in which I want to be represented . . . with full disclosure to the people she represents of the thought process behind her decisions and a consistent energy for being in possession of ALL of the facts behind all decisions she is asked to make.”  The nomination letter outlined in great detail the various ways this information was transmitted to Rich’s constituents and the public: a weekly e-newsletter, in which she covers city council decisions that impact the lives of District 6 residents, with explanations for the positions she takes on controversial issues; an insistence that council meetings be televised; regular community meetings; and more.

    The councilwoman was selected from a group of nominees that included past and present state officials and a journalist. Individual citizens, public officials, and league members made the nominations. The LWVAL Board of Directors made the final decision.

    “The league believes that transparency is an important mechanism that promotes both government accountability and public trust in the decisions reached by governmental officials," said LWVAL President Dr. Anne Permaloff. "It is not enough to announce decisions. The public wants to know how and why the decision was reached and who participated in the process.” 

    The Transparency in Government Award was established in 2015 to promote greater transparency in Alabama. It is awarded biennially. The Transparency in Government Celebration is open to the public. Its $30 reception ticket supports the LWVAL Education Fund, whose mission is to inform and educate citizens of Alabama on issues of government and public policy in order to facilitate their active and informed participation in government. Both LWVAL and its Education Fund are nonpartisan -- they do not support political parties or candidates.

    For more information on the Transparency Celebration contact Gina Finnegan, celebration coordinator, at ginaofinnegan@gmail.com or LWVAL President Dr. Anne Permaloff at graftonpermaloff@charter.net or visit the LWVAL website, www.lwval.org.