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FAC sues Sonoma County to unlock secret Super Bowl promo deal

The First Amendment Coalition today filed suit to make public the terms of a Sonoma County agency’s contract to promote county wines to football  fans visiting the Bay Area for the February 7 Super Bowl. FAC filed a public records request for the contract, under which the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau, together with organizations representing […]

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The Monterey County Weekly's CEO Bradley Zeve, FAC Executive Director Peter Scheer, Staff Writer Mary Rubin, Editor Mary Duan, Publisher Erik Cushman and Attorney Roger Myers, Bryan Cave, LLP, who represented the MCWeekly in unsealing Diocese records.

FAC Free Speech & Open Government Award winners honored at Cal Press Foundation 138th Annual Dinner Banquet

The 2015 recipients of the Free Speech & Open Government Award competition were honored Thursday, December 3 at the California Press Foundation’s 138th Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The two winners of this year’s awards used different methods to accomplish their goals ­­one upholding the finest traditions of community journalism and the other demonstrating the effectiveness of […]

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Vote No on Prop E

FAC urges ‘NO’ vote on San Francisco’s Prop E

The First Amendment Coalition opposes Proposition E, a November-election ballot measure about public access to San Francisco city Board and Commission meetings. FAC supports reforms that make San Francisco’s political process more transparent and more open to voices that are not currently heard, and FAC supports the use of technology to make government more accountable […]

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FAC's FOI Award

Call for nominations 2015 FAC FOI 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, or winners, could be a journalist, […]

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Critic of Inglewood mayor defeats censorship-by-copyright

A few weeks ago we wrote about the thin-skinned mayor of Inglewood who, stung by criticism from a local citizen, went to court to silence him. Oblivious to first amendment protections for free speech, the mayor and his lawyers claimed the critic’s use of clips from videos of city council meetings infringed Inglewood’s copyright. Now […]

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Watch Pulling Back the Blue Curtain

Watch Now! FAC & KPCC’s Pulling Back the Blue Curtain: When should we have access to police records?

You might want to put on welding goggles and spf 50 sunscreen because more than a few sparks fly when FAC’s Peter Scheer and KPCC’s Frank Stoltze ask the panel of law-enforcement-access experts: “How much access to police records is warranted; how much is too much?  KPCC’s crime and public safety correspondent Frank Stoltze moderated the lively, sometimes heated, discussion among […]

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Join the Twitter Chat with Peter Scheer & KPCC

When should we have access to police records? Recap Peter Scheer and KPCC’s Frank Stoltze TwitterChat recap

When should we have access to police records? FAC’ Exec. Dir. Peter Scheer and KPCC’s Frank Stoltze participated in an hour long #muckedup Twitter chat that raised eight questions regarding the public’s right to access law enforcement documents. Catch up with MuckRack’s Storify recap.

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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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