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 FAC’s 2021 Impact Report and a summary of our 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 holds public forums 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 Oversite

FAC monitors legislation in California that would affect free speech, a free press or the public's right to know.

Our Services

What We Offer

The Legal Hotline gives users free access to FAC’s experts for questions about access to public records, public meetings and a range of First Amendment topics. 

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.

FAC offers a detailed primer on the California Public Records Act, the Police Transparency Guide and numerous sample letters for requesting public records in California or from federal agencies. These resources are free for all to use. 

FAC offers resources on understanding California’s open-meetings laws, including a detailed primer on the Ralph M. Brown Act. 

Subscribe to receive FAC’s news alerts, updates about our legal work, invitations to public events and information about other timely initiatives.

Our Donors

Financial Support

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

The Coalition’s principal patrons and benefactors have been Rowland “Reb” Rebele, media consultant and former newspaper publisher, 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, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, First Look Media, Inc., the Hearst Foundations, the James B. McClatchy Foundation, and the Raymond Pryke Foundation.

Major gifts have also been given by Will Hearst, Doug and Carol Melamed, Don Graham. Other supporters include the law firms Troutman Pepper, 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.