Last week the campaign to make National Whistleblower Day permanent announced a milestone in its organization’s efforts. Since March, the grassroots, whistleblower-led campaign has organized its supporters to send over 10,000 letters to Congress and President Biden. The message being sent by the campaign, which can be found here, calls for President Biden to sign an Executive Order in support of whistleblowers. The proposed Executive Order would officially recognize July 30th as National Whistleblower Day (NWD), mandate federal agencies to notify their employees of their rights to blow the whistle, and require agencies to highlight past whistleblowers who have made those agencies stronger.
The campaign is being led by the whistleblowers Jane Turner (FBI), Sherron Watkins (Enron), Fred Whitehurst (FBI), Aaron Westrick (Law Enforcement Fraud), and Bunnatine Greenhouse (Haliburton). They see a permanent day dedicated to whistleblowers as crucial to “changing the culture” around what whistleblowers typically experience. Particularly important to the group is the idea that this Executive Order would combine both symbolic change as well as enforceable requirements for federal agencies.
Earlier this year Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote a letter to President Biden calling for a Rose Garden Ceremony in honor of whistleblowers. The campaign for NWD applauded his action and connected it to their movement. While they fully support a Rose Garden Ceremony, the whistleblowers believe the enforceability of an Executive Order would create an extra layer of accountability.
FBI whistleblower Fred Whitehurst, one of the group’s leaders, highlighted why this effort matters so much: “We verbalize our need for whistleblowers. We encourage whistleblowers. We gain from the sacrifices made by whistleblowers. We call whistleblowers heroes. And yet when the whistle is blowing we abandon them to a lonely battle against insurmountable forces. We must be not only the recipients of the fruits of their sacrifices but part of their team, bolstering them and their families, giving them jobs when needed, housing when needed, futures when needed and laws that protect them during their task. We must take this step for a permanent National Whistleblower Day.”
The group emphasizes that while 10,000 letters of support is a huge milestone toward their goal, they will not rest until President Biden heeds their call to action. The campaign can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the campaign to make National Whistleblower Day permanent visit: Make National Whistleblower Day Permanent