Consumers and attorneys who are defending basic rights are getting crushed, kicked and beaten to pieces all across this country. One of the few protections or hopes we have left against out of control tyranny is the First Amendment.
Please join me in making a contribution of support to the Florida First Amendment Foundation:
As 2011 draws to a close and you’re considering which causes you would like to support with a charitable contribution for the year, we hope you’ll consider making a donation to the Florida First Amendment Foundation. The Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the public’s constitutional right to oversee its government through application of Florida’s Sunshine and Public Records Laws.
This has been a challenging year for the First Amendment Foundation. Traditionally, our major source of financial support has been the print news media, but as media profits have declined over the past several years, so has the media’s ability to support of the Foundation financially. And yet, as support has declined, requests for our services have increased dramatically, and we’ve become more dependent on individual contributors to help us meet those escalating needs as well as our own educational goals.
Access to government information is vitally important in today’s society, and access laws are used for a wide variety of purposes by people other than traditional journalists. These laws are often important to lawyers, litigants, businesses and everyday citizens. Even with our small staff and limited resources, the First Amendment Foundation is diligent in ensuring that Florida government remains open and accountable to its citizens.
Some of our 2011 highlights:
* The Foundation has worked diligently to improve the governor’s public record access policies and procedures. As a result of our efforts, significant restrictions have been eliminated from the governor’s public record fee policy and serious deficiencies in procedures regarding public records requests for email correspondence have been uncovered and corrected.
* We continue to work with the governor’s advisors on recovering “lost” transition team emails and, once recovered, will make those emails readily accessible through a publicly-available Drop Box.
* The Foundation has drafted legislation clarifying that transition teams and newly-elected officials are subject to Florida’s open government laws and we’re working closely with the Florida Press Association and Florida Society of News Editors to find sponsors.
* We’ve responded to nearly 800 calls on our FOI hotline, fielding calls from citizens, reporters, and government officials since the beginning of 2011.
* In close cooperation with The Florida Bar’s Media Law Committee and the League of Women Voters, the Foundation held eight sunshine seminars throughout the state, and participated in about two dozen other educational events and conferences and participated in about two dozen other educational events and conferences over the course of the last 10 months.
* The Foundation supports open government litigation, joining important cases throughout the state. We also sponsor litigation grant requests to the National Freedom of Information Coalition and have successfully obtained grants for a variety of FOI litigants in Florida.
* The First Amendment Foundation monitors the dozens of bills filed each legislative session that affect the right of access to government records and meetings, advocating on behalf of greater access and transparency.
Please help us help others by making a charitable contribution to the First Amendment Foundation. You can mail a check to the Foundation at the address below, or make a donation or pledge on-line at http://www.floridafaf.org/donations. We are a 501(c)3 organization, and all donations to the Foundation are tax deductible.
After making your donation, we would greatly appreciate your forwarding this email to others who you think would support the mission of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation.
carol LoCicero, FAF Trustee Jon Kaney, FAF General Counsel
Thomas & LoCicero Kaney & Olivari
First Amendment Foundation
336 E. College Avenue, Suite 101
Tallahassee, FL 32301