Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Proposed VCOG internship a fitting tribute to former Del. Chip Woodrum.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The Virginia Coalition for Open Government is working to endow a student internship for sessions of the General Assembly to give deserving scholars a chance to learn about the state legislative process.
Fittingly, the internship will celebrate the legacy of former Del. Clifton “Chip” Woodrum of Roanoke, who died earlier this year. Woodrum took the lead in modernizing Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act in the late 1990s and in creating and sustaining an advisory council that still serves as the state government’s sunshine office. He was a forceful and effective advocate for the public’s right to know, a principle neatly summed up in his 1998 resolution establishing a joint subcommittee to study the FOIA law.
A clause in the resolution says simply: “The importance of the right of the people of the Commonwealth to have free access to the affairs of their government cannot be overstated.”
Those were not just words on paper to Woodrum. He recognized that the effectiveness of Virginia’s FOIA law had been eroded by exemptions to open meetings and open records requirements, and that advances in technology made it necessary for lawmakers to update the act. He worked with media and open government advocates and with state and local government groups to craft a law that promoted transparency while preserving reasonable exemptions for public bodies. After the law was updated in 1999, Woodrum served as the first chairman of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council.
Woodrum’s tireless work for the cause of open government is an enduring legacy of his 24-year career in the House of Delegates, and one worthy of being memorialized. The recipient of the first Chip Woodrum Legislative Internship will earn a high honor and a tremendous opportunity.
Weather JournalNext system: Possible ice/snow Sat.