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2012 Sunny Awards

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Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency, released the winners of the third annual Sunny Awards. The award, which honors the most transparent government websites in the nation, went to 214 government entities with Florida receiving the most Sunny Awards.

“The Sunny Awards recognizes governments that are doing an exemplary job at proactively disclosing information to taxpayers,” said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review. “There are so many organizations and associations that highlight what is wrong with government. We at Sunshine Review are proud to acknowledge those who are doing it right and setting a transparency standard that all governments can, and should, meet.”

For the 2012 awards, Editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 6,000 government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content available on government websites against what should be provided. They sought information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes. The winners of the Sunny Award all received an “A” grade during the extensive grading process.

Six states earned nearly half of the 214 Sunny Awards given. The leading states were Florida (28), Texas (21), Illinois (19), Virginia (14), Ohio (10) and Pennsylvania (10). In addition, ten states earned an “A” grade for their state government website including, California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington and West Virginia. The winners also included school districts and city and county governments.

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Since beginning the Sunny Awards in 2010, Sunshine Review has given 365 Sunny Awards to local and state governments. In 2011, Florida once again took home the most awards with other leading states including Texas (12), Utah (10), Illinois (7), Virginia (6) and California (5).

“The winners of the Sunny Award know that information empowers every citizen to hold government officials accountable. Sunshine Review applauds the winners of the Sunny Award and encourages every government to allocate the resources to improving their website transparency,” said Barnhart.

The Sunny Awards announcement preludes the launch of “Sunshine Week,” March 11-17, a period nationally recognized by hundreds of media and civic organizations, that celebrates the efforts of activists and the strides taken towards open government.

Sunshine Review is a nonprofit organization dedicated to state and local government transparency. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations throughout America in the cause of an informed citizenry and a transparent government. Since its inception in 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of all 50 states and more than 6,000 state and local entities.

The awards list is now 215, due to a site being down during the time of our rating even though they did qualify in 2012 for a Sunny Award. This site is Cobb County, Georgia. - KM

Sunny Awards

Government Entity State Grade
Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska AK A-
Juneau, Alaska AK A-
Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska AK A-
Chandler, Arizona AZ A+
Mesa, Arizona AZ A-
Phoenix, Arizona AZ A-
Pima County, Arizona AZ A-
Pinal County, Arizona AZ A-
Surprise, Arizona AZ A+
Tucson, Arizona AZ A-
Berkeley, California CA A-
California state website CA A-
Costa Mesa, California CA A+
Los Angeles County, California CA A-
Sacramento, California CA A-
San Diego, California CA A-
San Francisco County, California CA A-
San Francisco Unified School District, California CA A-
San Francisco, California CA A-
Adams County, Colorado CO A+
Denver County 1 School District, Colorado CO A-
Douglas County, Colorado CO A+
El Paso County, Colorado CO A-
Jefferson County Public Schools, Colorado CO A-
Mesa County Valley School District 51, Colorado CO A-
Washington, D.C. website DC A-
Delaware state website DE A-
Wilmington, Delaware DE A-
Brevard County, Florida FL A-
Charlotte County Public Schools, Florida FL A-
Duval County Public Schools, Florida FL A+
Duval County, Florida FL A+
Escambia County School District, Florida FL A+
Highlands County, Florida FL A-
Hillsborough County Public Schools, Florida FL A+
Indian River County, Florida FL A+
Indian River School District, Florida FL A+
Lake County, Florida FL A-
Lee County School District, Florida FL A-
Lee County, Florida FL A+
Leon County, Florida FL A-
Marion County Public Schools, Florida FL A-
Miami, Florida FL A+
Oakland Park, Florida FL A-
Orange County Public Schools, Florida FL A+
Osceola County, Florida FL A-
Palm Beach County School District, Florida FL A+
Palm Beach County, Florida FL A+
Pinellas County, Florida FL A+
Polk County School District, Florida FL A-
Sarasota County, Florida FL A-
Seminole County Public Schools, Florida FL A+
St. Johns County School District, Florida FL A+
St. Johns County, Florida FL A-
St. Lucie County School District, Florida FL A+
Sumter County, Florida FL A+
Cherokee County, Georgia GA A+
Canton, Georgia GA A+
Cobb County, Georgia GA A+
Clayton County, Georgia GA A+
Fulton County, Georgia GA A+
Gwinnett County, Georgia GA A-
Henry County, Georgia GA A+
Richmond County, Georgia GA A-
Rockdale County, Georgia GA A-
Honolulu, Hawaii HI A-
Maui County, Hawaii HI A-
Johnson County, Iowa IA A-
Ankeny Community School District, Iowa IA A-
Scott County, Iowa IA A+
Bonneville Joint School District, Idaho ID A-
Pocatello-Chubbuck School District, Idaho ID A-
Carbondale, Illinois IL A-
Champaign County, Illinois IL A-
Chicago, Illinois IL A+
Community Consolidated School District 54, Illinois IL A+
DuPage County, Illinois IL A+
Illinois state website IL A-
Evanston, Illinois IL A+
Kane County, Illinois IL A+
Lake County, Illinois IL A+
Madison County, Illinois IL A+
McHenry County, Illinois IL A+
New Trier High School, Illinois IL A+
Rockford School District 205, Illinois IL A-
Springfield School District 186, Illinois IL A+
Township High School District 211, Illinois IL A+
Township High School District 214, Illinois IL A+
Wheaton Warrenville Unit School District 200, Illinois IL A+
Will County, Illinois IL A+
Wilmette, Illinois IL A+
Indiana state website IN A-
Indianapolis, Indiana IN A-
Marion County, Indiana IN A-
Derby USD 260, Kansas KS A-
Johnson County, Kansas KS A-
Kansas City, Kansas KS A-
Lawrence, Kansas KS A+
Overland Park, Kansas KS A+
Sedgwick County, Kansas KS A-
Topeka, Kansas KS A-
Wichita Public School District, Kansas KS A+
Wyandotte County, Kansas KS A-
Boone County, Kentucky KY A-
Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky KY A-
Houma, Louisiana LA A+
Lafourche Parish, Louisiana LA A+
St. Charles Parish, Louisiana LA A+
St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana LA A-
Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana LA A+
Massachusetts state website MA A+
Allegany County, Maryland MD A-
Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Maryland MD A+
Maryland state website MD A-
Howard County Public Schools, Maryland MD A+
Ann Arbor Public Schools, Michigan MI A-
Portage, Michigan MI A+
Detroit Public Schools, Michigan MI A-
Kalamazoo, Michigan MI A-
Lansing, Michigan MI A-
Carver County, Minnesota MN A+
Minneapolis Public Schools, Minnesota MN A-
Clay County, Missouri MO A-
St. Charles County, Missouri MO A-
Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska NE A+
New Jersey state website NJ A-
Sussex County, New Jersey NJ A+
Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico NM A-
Albuquerque, New Mexico NM A+
Bernalillo County, New Mexico NM A+
Las Cruces Public Schools, New Mexico NM A-
Las Cruces, New Mexico NM A+
Rio Rancho, New Mexico NM A+
Santa Fe County, New Mexico NM A+
Santa Fe Public Schools, New Mexico NM A-
Santa Fe, New Mexico NM A+
Buffalo City School District, New York NY A+
New York state website NY A-
Rochester, New York NY A-
Cincinnati, Ohio OH A+
Columbus City Schools, Ohio OH A-
Columbus, Ohio OH A-
Dayton Public School District, Ohio OH A+
Franklin County, Ohio OH A-
Hamilton County, Ohio OH A-
Lakota Local School District, Ohio OH A-
Montgomery County, Ohio OH A-
Toledo City School District, Ohio OH A+
Westerville City School District, Ohio OH A+
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma OK A+
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma OK A-
Owasso, Oklahoma OK A+
Tulsa County, Oklahoma OK A+
Tulsa, Oklahoma OK A+
Albany, Oregon OR A+
Beaverton, Oregon OR A+
Salem, Oregon OR A-
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania PA A+
Brandywine Heights Area School District, Pennsylvania PA A-
Council Rock School District, Pennsylvania PA A-
Pennsylvania state website PA A-
New Hope-Solebury School District, Pennsylvania PA A-
New Kensington-Arnold School District, Pennsylvania PA A-
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania PA A-
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania PA A+
Reading School District, Pennsylvania PA A-
West Chester Area School District, Pennsylvania PA A+
Aiken County, South Carolina SC A+
Anderson County, South Carolina SC A+
Pickens School District, South Carolina SC A+
Wilson County, Tennessee TN A-
Addison, Texas TX A-
Arlington, Texas TX A+
Austin, Texas TX A-
Brazoria County, Texas TX A-
Burleson County, Texas TX A-
Burleson, Texas TX A+
Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District, Texas TX A-
El Paso County, Texas TX A-
El Paso, Texas TX A-
Fort Bend Independent School District, Texas TX A+
Fort Worth, Texas TX A-
Frisco, Texas TX A-
Houston Independent School District, Texas TX A-
Houston, Texas TX A-
Huntsville, Texas TX A-
Keller, Texas TX A-
Laredo, Texas TX A-
Lubbock County, Texas TX A-
McKinney Independent School District, Texas TX A+
New Braunfels, Texas TX A-
South San Antonio Independent School District, Texas TX A-
Jordan School District, Utah UT A-
Ogden City School District, Utah UT A+
Riverton, Utah UT A-
Salt Lake City School District, Utah UT A-
Salt Lake City, Utah UT A-
West Jordan, Utah UT A-
Arlington Public Schools, Virginia VA A-
Chesterfield County, Virginia VA A+
Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia VA A+
Gloucester County, Virginia VA A+
Hampton City Schools, Virginia VA A+
Loudoun County Public Schools, Virginia VA A-
Mathews County, Virginia VA A+
Prince William County Public Schools, Virginia VA A+
Richmond Public Schools, Virginia VA A+
Richmond, Virginia VA A-
Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia VA A-
Virginia Beach, Virginia VA A-
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools, Virginia VA A+
York County, Virginia VA A+
Washington state website WA A+
Wisconsin state website WI A-
Milwaukee, Wisconsin WI A-
West Virginia state website WV A-

Past Winners