BrianSonntag_headFormer State Auditor Brian Sonntag has been inducted into the “Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame.

According to a press release by the National Freedom of Information Coalition:

“Brian Sonntag, who retired earlier this year after serving five terms as the elected State Auditor in Washington state, has been selected for induction into Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame.

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) jointly announced Sonntag’s selection as the 2013 inductee today. The formal induction ceremony will take place at Saturday’s luncheon during the 2013 FOI Summit, held this year at the Renaissance Arts Hotel in New Orleans, La., May 17–18.

The State Open Government Hall of Fame is a joint venture by SPJ and NFOIC. It was developed by leaders in both organizations as a way to recognize long-term contributions of individuals to open government in their states.

Sonntag, the 13th individual chosen for the honor since the Hall’s inception in 2003, is the second inductee in a row from Washington and only the third elected official to be included.

Induction into the State Open Government Hall of Fame recognizes ‘long and steady effort to preserve and protect the free flow of information about state and local government that is vital to the public in a democracy.’ The award is intended to honor individuals—living or dead—whose lifetime commitment to citizen access, open government and freedom of information has left a significant legacy at the state and local level.”

The 2012 inductee was Toby Nixon, President of the Washington Coalition for Open Government.

Based on Washington’s strong open government laws, it’s not surprising to see that last two inductees come from the state.

Sonntag has also been a strong advocate for Washington Policy Center’s proposed legislative transparency reforms.

NFOIC’s acknowledgment of Sonntag’s long-time support for open government is well deserved.

Congratulations State Auditor Sonntag!

[Reprinted with permission from the Washington Policy Center blog]