About us

our Mission

Who We Are

The First Amendment Coalition is an award-winning, nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to advancing free speech, more open and accountable government, and public participation in civic affairs.

Our Mission

The mission of the First Amendment Coalition is to protect and promote freedom of expression and the people’s right to know. The Coalition is a non-profit, nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization serving the public, public servants, and the media in all its forms. Its constituency reflects an increasingly diverse society. The Coalition is committed to the principle that government is accountable to the people, and strives through education, public advocacy, litigation, and other efforts to prevent unnecessary government secrecy and to resist censorship of all kinds. (Board of Directors, August 18, 2008)

Read a summary of FAC’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.

Our programs

What We Do

Legal Work

FAC’s greatest asset is the legal experience accrued over 30 years of holding governments accountable at the local, state, and federal levels, supporting journalists and citizens in how to enforce their First Amendment rights.

Public Events

FAC Regularly holds public forums bringing together lawyers, journalists and citizens in venues from coast to coast to discuss on government transparency, free speech and citizen engagement

Free Speech & Open Government Awards

Every year FAC honors First Amendment champions who have made outstanding commitments to free speech and government transparency.

Legislative Oversight

We engage in oversight of the legislative process, working with legislators and providing testimony in support of First Amendment-friendly bills, and against bills that would turn the clock back.​

Our Services

What We Offer

The Legal Hotline gives users quick, free access to FAC’s lawyers for questions about access to public records; your right to attend government meetings; access to court documents and proceedings.
A&A is a searchable database of questions posed by users about their rights under open government laws, and first amendment safeguards that have been answered by FAC’s attorneys.

Links to all of FAC’S resources for California’s open-meetings law, the Brown Act, including our Brown Act Primer, Text of The Ralph M. Brown Open Meeting Act (2013) and a sample “Cure & Correct” demand letter

Links to all of FAC’S resources for California’s open-meetings law, the Brown Act, including our Brown Act Primer, Text of The Ralph M. Brown Open Meeting Act (2013) and a sample “Cure & Correct” demand letter

Flash newsletter

Subscribe to FAC’s quarterly Flash e-newsletter and keep up our legal work and public events, other timely initiatives and Executive Director David Snyder’s latest “On Access” opinion column.

Our Donors

Financial Support

We receive our funding from foundation grants, individual and corporate contributions, membership dues, portions of attorney’s fee awards in selected cases, and income from a modest endowment fund.

The Coalition’s principal patrons and benefactors have been media consultant (and former newspaper publisher)  Rowland (“Reb”) Rebele and his wife, Patricia Rebele. The First Amendment has never had more steadfast and supportive friends than the Rebeles.

The Coalition receives significant institutional support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, The Craig Newmark Philanthropic Foundation, First Look Media, Inc.,  the James B. McClatchy Foundation, and the Raymond Pryke Foundation.

Major gifts have also been given by Will Hearst, Allen McCombs, and Doug and Carol Melamed. Other supporters include the Southern California News Group (SCNG),  Davis Wright Tremaine and Sheppard Mullin.

Startup support for the Coalition was provided by the National Society of Professional Journalists and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, among others.