5. Support initiatives that preserve public records and access to them.
This seems to be an odd item to include in a Code of Ethics – after all, it is not always possible for all members to do this, for various reasons. But sometimes the best way to understand the wording of something is to present it in its negative form:
“Do not undermine initiatives that preserve public records and access to them.”
While you may not be able to go to Sacramento (for us Californians) or Washington, D.C. (in the case of Federal issues); or you may have other circumstances precluding you from writing representatives in Congress, etc. (due to restrictions placed on you by other situations), simply not trying to thwart such activities would be adhering to this Code item.
Initiatives that are presented to the public (regarding these issues) are vital to our progress as genealogists and historians. Understanding them is of paramount importance.
Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA, CG(sm)