The Nightingale Collective is committed to radical transparency. But what does that mean?
There are increasing calls for ‘transparency’ in both governmental and commercial sectors. We are tired of a political climate where both government agencies and regulated organizations are permitted to negotiate behind closed doors. We know that the public, and usually the most marginalized members of the public, bear the brunt of the costs of this secrecy.
This is no less the case here in Eugene. We are constantly surprised by the number of public policy decisions that are influenced by back room decision-making. This includes law enforcement policies, zoning and coding regulations and contracts with local businesspeople and out-of-town corporations. These usually have social, economic, and ecological consequences that often have the greatest effect upon people who were shut out of the decision-making process.
Our local government often refers to ‘stakeholders’ that are invited to the negotiating table. It is our stance that most of the true ‘stakeholders’ who are adversely affected by these decisions are actively refrained from the joining the conversation. Therefore, it has become a major priority for us to both demand and practice transparency and accountability.
For the past year, we have been a constant (and often lonely) voice demanding accountability and transparency in our community in various forms, including public testimony, private meetings, statistical inquiries, letters to the editor, media interviews, and public records requests.