The Government Accountability Project began 40 years ago as an effort to change the culture of the United States surrounding the topic of whistleblowing. We saw whistleblowers as courageous heroes and patriots while the nation’s culture was mired in the notion that they were merely “finks,” “tattletales” and “snitches.” We have certainly succeeded in changing the culture, but more importantly we have helped to transform society and how it deals with corruption, abuse of power, environmental and public health threats, illegality and gross mismanagement.
We used to speak of whistleblowing as an example of one person standing up to powerful forces and, thereby, changing society as if once confronted with “The Truth,” major institutions would immediately and automatically take corrective action and reform themselves. We now know that whistleblowers are the catalysts – the sparks – that will either get snuffed out or will transform many aspects of our life impacted by the revelations.
They are still heroes in this more accurate assessment of their contribution, but these courageous truth-tellers need the rest of us to succeed. First, they need the Government Accountability Project that substantiates their information, advocates for them, defends them, and organizes all the component parts of the necessary reform effort. They need reporters to convey the information about problems to the public; public interest groups to wage campaigns to see that those problems are addressed; legislators to provide avenues to address the exposed concerns and to pass statutes to protect them against retaliation; lawyers to defend their rights; and committed reformers everywhere – both inside and outside institutions – to compel the necessary change.
Critically important too, whistleblowers and all of us at the Government Accountability Project need generous donors to underwrite all the work that needs to happen to defend the truth-tellers and see that their courage is rewarded, not punished. It takes resources to confront agencies, institutions and corporations that resist change and fear liability.For every one of the last 40 years, the C. S. Fund has been there for the Government Accountability Project and all the whistleblowers whom we represent. The Fund is so committed to this democratic, accountability and anti-corruption cause, it has agreed to match dollar for dollar every ticket purchased for our 40th anniversary gala event on November 15th and every donation that is made by those regretfully unable to attend.
Now more than ever we must keep accountable those in power and support those who speak out in the face of injustice. We hope that you will join us in celebrating the Government Accountability Project’s past 40 years of tireless whistleblower protection and advocacy. Here’s to the next 40 years.
Get your tickets here.