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FAC-backed bill, AB 521, would require disclosure of water usage by corporations

The California Legislature will consider a FAC-backed bill to narrow the CPRA’s exemption for information on water usage by customers of government water districts. The bill, AB 1520, would reverse the outcome of an unsuccessful lawsuit filed by FAC against the Coachella Valley Water District in 2014. The CPRA for nearly 20 years has had […]

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FAC amicus brief: agency can’t take back records mistakenly released

FAC has filed an amicus brief in a case testing a local government agency’s power to take back records it has released to a requester under the CPRA. The Newark Unified School District, in releasing documents, mistakenly included records that were subject to the attorney-client privilege. The school district demanded return of the documents and […]

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FAC sues San Diego PD for records on controversial cell phone surveillance technology

The First Amendment Coalition today filed suit against the San Diego Police Department to obtain information about the SDPD’s purchase and use of surveillance equipment that can identify and track all cell phones in a specific location, such as a building, neighborhood or street intersection. “We believe the SDPD has an obligation to tell San […]

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FAC leads amicus filing in case seeking access to records in hands of private firms that contract with government

An open-government coalition led by FAC has filed an amicus brief in a California freedom-of-information case involving access to data of government contractors that the contractors are required, under their agreements wth local government, to create and maintain. In Flynn v. Los Angeles a PRA requester seeks information in databases about the towing and storing […]

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Christina Selder

Announcing FAC’s 2014 Free Speech & Open Government Award Winners

The First Amendment Coalition is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 FAC Free Speech & Open Government Award. This year FAC received 30 nominations covering the efforts of journalists, individuals, government officials, educators, attorneys, community groups, non-profit journalism organizations and newspapers. The two 2014 winners of this year’s awards use different methods to […]

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On Access by Peter Scheer

Water district, in settlement with FAC, agrees to disclose water usage by corporations

A Southern California water district, as part of a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the First Amendment Coalition, has agreed to tell the public how much water each of its corporate customers is pumping from underground aquifers. The Desert Water Agency in Palm Springs had published this information in past years, but changed policy […]

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Brown signs SB 1300, but calls on Legislature to fix public access issues

Governor Brown has signed SB 1300, the refinery regulation bill that FAC and others opposed because of last-minute amendments that would weaken rights of access under the Public Records Act. However, the Governor, in a signing message, made clear he wants the Legislature to pass a new bill to fix those amendments. The Governor said […]

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Peter Scheer & Santa Rosa PD's Paul Gullixson

FAC joins with Santa Rosa Press Democrat to host Open Government candidates’ forum

FAC headed north this week to co-host an Open Government Candidates’ Forum with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The event provided a unique opportunity for members of the community, which a year earlier was rocked by the tragic shooting death of Andy Lopez, 13, by a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy, to hear candidates for city council answer tough questions on government openness […]

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Send in your nominations!

FAC Seeks Nominations for 2014 Free Speech & Open Government Award

The First Amendment Coalition is soliciting nominees for the FAC Free Speech & Open Government Award, given each year for performance of exemplary work in the arena of open government. Qualifications for the award are outstanding accomplishment, service or other contributions to “the people’s right to know” about government. The winner could be a journalist, […]

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Thomas Burke joins FAC Board of Directors

Tom Burke and Quentin Kopp join FAC Board

The First Amendment Coalition is delighted to announce the appointment of two new members of its Board of Directors: Thomas Burke, a prominent lawyer specializing in first amendment, intellectual property and media litigation; and Quentin Kopp, former Superior Court judge, State Senator and San Francisco Supervisor. Burke is a partner in the San Francisco office […]

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