New Signature has created the “Ethics In Your State” online directory for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). This directory will provide state and local activists with the contact information they need to cooperate on projects, to seek out assistance from natural allies in their respective states, and to benefit from the experiences of other activists in their states and across state borders.
CREW has closely monitored government ethics, bringing egregious conduct to light and holding public officials accountable for their misconduct. CREW has focused primarily on the federal government, but in 2006, they launched a state-based project called Colorado Ethics Watch (CEW). CEW has been effective in holding public officials and organizations accountable for unethical activities that undermine the integrity of state and local government. CREW lacks the resources, however, to open similar offices in other states. As a result, they turned to New Signature to implement an online directory of state-based groups to assist CREW in identifying, challenging, and deterring unethical conduct by local and state government officials. Public officials held accountable for abusing the public trust at the local level are less likely to reach higher office, where they would wield greater power and have more opportunities to betray the public trust.