- Is a clean and healthy Mississippi a concern? The Environmental Protection Agency collects the essential data that informs the work of organizations such as Clean Water Action or the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.
- Worried about food safety? You’ll need direct or indirect access to theFood and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to the information mavens at Food and Water Watch, the Environmental Working Group or the Minnesota Extension Service—all of these and countless others depend on ready access to federal government data and research.
- Threatened by the oil-loaded trains traveling across Minnesota rails? Start with the http://ntlsearch.bts.gov/researchhub/” target=”_blank”>US Department of Transportation Research Hub to understand the players and pressure points.
- Think there may be something to climate change? Information from the feds is the essential first step.
- Questions about services for veterans?
- Planning a family vacation in Our Nation’s Capitol? You’ll want to tap into the DC Visitors’ Center
- Worried that the FBI still has a file on you? Can’t hurt to ask.
- Want to track the FOIA Improvement Act? Thomas at the Library of Congress is just one of the options you have to follow legislation-in-progress.
The point is that the federal government is the sole source of massive data and practical day-to-day information on which we as a nation and as individuals depend. Our democracy rests on the ability of citizens to keep an eye on our government and to hold our officials accountable. Information by and about the government is the resource with the power to enlighten, misinform, shape an issue, turn a profit, and/or create a strong, accountable, functional and accountable democracy.