The Sunshine Law guarantees citizens the right to observe government in action and to constructively participate. The Sunshine Law guarantees you the right to be heard, the right to videotape, the right to the minutes of meetings. These rights allow you to not only know what government actions have been taken, but also allow you to be a part of the process.
Each town has established its own way of complying with the Sunshine Law. Some municipal meetings have the public hearing in the beginning, others at the end of the agenda. Some towns allow you to videotape from anywhere in the room, others set specific guidelines of where you can stand.
But there are basic rules that every town must comply with, and rights that every person is afforded. To help citizens guarnatee their right to be heard and observe, the ACLU-NJ has released a Guide to the Sunshine Law. Click here to download. Print it out and bring it to your next council meeting.
The Citizens Campaign offers a free online class, "Citizen Legislator" which offers insider tips on making a successful presentation at your next council meeting.