Resolution on State Public Affairs Networks

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WHEREAS, the operations of state governments and the roles of elected officials are often little understood by citizens.  Yet public understanding of the institutions and processes of government is critical to building public trust and confidence.  State governments need to bring about a better understanding of the concepts of representative democracy; and 

WHEREAS, a growing number of states have created or supported the creation of state public affairs television networks whose charge it is to offer unfiltered, gavel-to-gavel coverage of legislative sessions, committee proceedings and similar actions within the executive and judicial branches.  By providing an “open window” on the workings of their state governments, these independent networks have increased citizen access, public trust and understanding of both the governmental and the public policy process at large; and 

WHEREAS, The National Association of Public Affairs Networks (NAPAN) has been conceived to help establish and expand nationally such noncommercial, independent television networks devoted to providing citizens with fair, balanced, and unfiltered access to their state governments: to foster and nurture the institutions that will help create the informed electorate that will shape our democracy in the years to come.  NAPAN is committed to the launch and viability of networks in all 50 states. 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments encourages states to partner with the National Association of Public Affairs Networks about the formation and expansion of a state public affairs network in each of the 50 states in the manner most appropriate for each individual state. 

Adopted this 20th Day of May, 2012, at CSG’s 2012 National Leadership Conference in La Quinta, California.