Open Government

Gerry is one of our state’s leaders in working to ensure that government at all levels is open and accountable to you.

“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”
James Madison

“Sunshine is the greatest disinfectant”
Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Gerry is a board member of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and has been honored by the League of Women Voters with their Sunshine in Government award for legislative leadership.

Gerry is leading the fight to end the Legislature’s secrecy and claimed exemption from our state’ Public Records Disclosure Act. In June 2017, he was the only legislator to immediately disclose his calendar to reporters and news media when asked under the Act. Gerry believes the public and news media have a right to – indeed a need to – know who lobbies legislators and what promises they make.

Gerry was the initial author of the legislation, which became law as request legislation of the Attorney General, to ensure that every single elected official, members of boards and commissions, and agency officials are trained in meeting their fundamental responsibility to hold open meetings and in regard to their obligation to provide public records to the public. He has proposed legislation to require that advisory committees issuing formal advice to elected officials and agencies meet in the open subject to our state’s Open Public Meetings Act.

Gerry continues to fight against annual efforts to reduce your rights to obtain public records, particularly to see how your city or county officials decide on major public projects (e.g., stadiums), or to hold police accountable by allowing the news media, civil rights or community groups to see police das camera or body camera videos.