Accountable government requires transparency, which is why the Mackinac Center has long called for policies that would create a more open government. 

This year, the Center joined other transparency advocates, including the ACLU of Michigan, the Michigan Press Association and the Sierra Club, to support transparency reforms. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, meanwhile, filed a lawsuit over the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s disregard of open records law during the Flint water crisis.

Now, the Mackinac Center’s Executive Vice President Michael Reitz will lead the Michigan Coalition for Open Government. In September, Reitz was elected president of the volunteer group, which advocates for more access to public records, open meetings and policies that empower people with information about government. 

The coalition, founded in 2013 by long-time journalism professor and transparency advocate Jane Briggs-Bunting, has been well positioned as a resource for the public and policymakers and will now offer a comprehensive agenda for reform, according to Reitz. The group will be especially interested in increasing access to public records in the digital age. 

Reitz first joined the group’s board of directors in 2014 as a member of its legislative committee and went on to serve as vice president of the board.