BY PETER SCHEER—After twelve years as executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, I recently told our Board of Directors that I will be stepping down at the end of the year. I will stay involved with FAC in significant (albeit non-managerial) ways—starting with our search for a new executive director.
FAC is in a very strong position. Our programs are firing on all cylinders. In the coming weeks we will be filing several new lawsuits against local governments and conducting a week-long trial in a landmark case against the California State Bar. Also, a partnership with the Online News Association connects FAC’s Legal Hotline service with a new and important community of journalists. Look for announcements soon of other, similar affiliations, leveraging FAC’s resources to help more people both in CA and across the country.
FAC’s Board members, led by Board President Carol Melamed, are engaged, rich in talent and unreservedly committed to our free speech and open government mission. While fundraising is always a challenge, FAC’s finances are stronger and more stable than at any previous time. Major new funders include Will Hearst, Craig Newmark, First Look Media and the Reva and David Logan Foundation.
In short, FAC has staying power. It will thrive and grow.
I’ve had a good run as advocate for a righteous cause, but it’s time to move on. Next for me? A sabbatical for at least six months, during which I will figure out a next career that includes opportunities for writing, maybe some teaching, and, for sure, continued engagement in first amendment and open-government issues. Suggestions are welcome.
And you? If getting knee-deep in issues of free speech, the people’s right to know, and government accountability is an appealing prospect, please check out the job description for the position of Executive Director at FAC.