State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) was named a “Champion of Transparency” in an award received from the Texas Press Association (TPA); for numerous bills filed during the 87th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, whose goals were to improve government accountability by making more information available to the public under Texas’ Open Records laws.
“Senator West is a strong advocate for transparency at all levels of government, said Texas Press Association Executive Director Mike Hodges. “He understands that transparency is essential to government accountability. We greatly appreciate his willingness to fight for this important principle, and we’re proud to present him with this award.”
Sen. West received the award in his office at the Texas State Capitol while in Austin for the third Special Session of the Legislature called by Texas Governor Greg Abbott since the 87th Regular Session concluded in late May this year. A number of bills filed by the senator during the Regular Session focused on improving law enforcement accountability, monitoring school discipline, financial reporting by public officials and improving public access to meetings held by state agencies and government entities.
“I’ve always believed that an informed citizenry is a partner to our ongoing exercise in representative democracy and that people have a right to know how and why decisions are made that will impact them,” said Sen. West. “I thank the Texas Press Association’s for their willingness to look beyond the headlines to explore the motivation and effort involved in helping to make Texas work better for all. Government’s true role should be to help people.”
TPA Executive Vice President Donnis Baggett said that the “Champion of Transparency” award goes to state officials who go the extra mile to practice, promote and protect open government. “Senator West understands that open records and open meetings are not only a news media issue, but an important public policy issue,” said Baggett. “He is a superb advocate for the people’s right to know what their government is up to.”