2015 Sunshine Week NFOIC state activities from some of our members

Colorado:  Colorado Freedom of Information Coalitionis hostinga panel discussion titled “The thin blue thick black line:  Getting information from criminal justice records” on Wednesday, March 18th,. The event will be held at KUSA-TV (Studio B) located at 500 Speer Blvd, Denver.  Networking with refreshments begins at 6:30pm, with the discussion beginning at 7pm.  The event is free but reservation is required.  RSVP here by March 16th.


Washington DC – D.C. Open Government Coalitionpresents its fourth annual Sunshine Week Summit at The National Press Club First Amendment Lounge, 529 14th St., NW, 13th floor, Washington, D.C. The event will be Tuesday, March 17th at 6:30.  The event is free but registration is requested.  Click here to register.  A reception will follow the program.  A press release of the event can be found here.


Florida – Florida First Amendment Foundationis working with Florida Society of News Editors.  Activities for the week can be found here.  FAF is also hosting a luncheon at the Governors’ Club in Tallahassee on March 17th, 11:45am – 1:30pm.  Sign up here.


IdahoIdaho Press Clubwill be hosting a 25th birthday party for the Idaho Public Records Law, which was enacted in 1990, on Wednesday, March 18, at noon in the 4th floor rotunda of the Idaho State Capitol in Boise. Cake will be served, and all are invited.


IndianaIndiana Coalition for Open Governmentis joining the Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journaliststo host a symposium titled “Digital Transparency in Government:  What We Have and What We Need” on March 24th, 11:30am-1:30pm, at Hine Hall, Room 132, at the IUPUI Campus in Indianapolis. All are encouraged to attend this free event, and boxed lunches will be provided for those who register.  To register, send an email by March 18th to info@indianacog.org. More information can be found here.


Kansas– Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government has several outreaches in the works, including a Sunshine Week proclamation hoping to get introduced in the House and Senate, an Op-Ed piece that will be distributed for us to all media by the Kansas Press Associationand the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, a half-hour public television program on transparency, and a two-hour educational program on transparency in the courts that will be presented to the statewide meeting of Kansas judges.



Maine:  Maine Freedom of Information Coalition announces Scott Dolin as the recipient of the 2015 Sunshine Award.




Michigan– The Michigan Coalition for Open Governmentboard members have written OpEds which are being distributed to media statewide. In the past two years, the OpEds have been published by the state’s two largest newspapers, the mlive.comsite and other newspapers and online news sites around the state.  Updates for Michigan Sunshine week can be found at www.miopengov.org


MinnesotaMinnesota Coalition on Government Informationannounces Mary Liz Holberg as the 2015 John R. Finnegan FOI Award recipient.  The awards will be presented at MNCOGI’s annual Freedom of Information Day event Monday March 16, noon to 1:00, at Minneapolis Central Library’s Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall. The keynote speaker for the event is Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Sack. Sack knew two of the cartoonists killed in the attack on Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. The title of his talk is “An Appreciation from an End User.”


Missouri Missouri Sunshine Coalitionwill observe Sunshine week with “virtual” celebration, with the relaunching of their website.  Make sure to check it out at http://www.missourisunshine.org



New Jersey:  New Jersey Foundation for Open Government has released a press release discussing their mission and activities as well as current legislation affecting records and meetings.


New MexicoNew Mexico Foundation for Open Governmentis hosting a social media #ShareYourSunshine photo contest to have some fun with the sunshine play on words and the fact that we are among the sunniest states.  NMFOG hopes to raise awareness for the organization, Sunshine Week and transparency through the promotion of the contest, which is being sponsored by their statewide daily paper, The Albuquerque Journal. Full details here. They are also hosting a case study panel discussion on a recent IPRA case involving the Gila River and a subsequent SLAPP suit against a citizen.  This event will be help in Santa Fe March 17 in association with the League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County.  Full details here.  Additionally, NMFOG has composed a social media suggested materials kit, available here.


North CarolinaNorth Carolina Open Government Coalitionkicks off this year with Sunshine Day 2015 at the Durham Convention Center on Monday, March 16. Sunshine Day will include a morning public records training session that will highlight Greensboro’s Public Information Request Tracking system, the coalition’s inaugural awards luncheon, a keynote speech by Attorney General Roy Cooper, and afternoon panel sessions on transparency in the justice system. More information is available here at www.ncopengov.org. Click here for registration. Any questions about Sunshine Day registration or if you need an alternative to registering through the website, please contact director Jonathan Jones at jjones86@elon.edu.  Other events around the state can be found here.



TexasFreedom of Information Foundation of Texasis hosting a reporters’ round table briefing at the Austin American-Statesman along with a couple of key legislators to discuss pending transparency legislation in Texas on March 18th at 9 am. Be sure to read the guest column in Dallas Morning News, “Flow of information is critical to holding government accountable” by executive director Kelley Shannon’s guest column can be found here.


WisconsinWisconsin Freedom of Information Councilwill bestow its annual “Opee” awards honoring achievements high and low regarding openness in government. A press release of the awards can be found here. One of the WFOIC’s sponsoring members, the Society of Professional Journalists, is hosting an event, which, like most things in Wisconsin, involves beer. “Sunshine Wheat for Sunshine Week” will be Monday, March 16th at Next Door Brewing, 2439 Atwood Ave, Madison.  The celebration begins at 6pm.  The event is free, but RSVPs to mpitsch@madison.comare appreciated.  More details can found here.