Accessing Public Meetings

Welcome to FAC’s Open Meeting resources. In California, the key opening meeting law is the Ralph M. Brown Act, which requires legislative entities of local governments and agencies — for example, city councils and school boards — to conduct business in a way that enables the public to scrutinize government decision-making.

On this page you will find links to all of our resources for the Brown Act including Brown Act questions answered by our attorneys and information on the the Bagley-Keene Act, the open meeting law that governs the state agencies and commissions in California.

Accessing State Meetings

navigating the California Brown Act

Brown Act Primer

Our summary of the Brown Act aims to explain the requirements it places on the agencies it governs and make the law more accessible to its users. This primer was last updated in 2022.

"Cure & Correct" Letter Template

A sample letter template with instructional annotations for writing a Brown Act "Cure & Correct" letter. This model letter was last updated in 2022.

Text of the Ralph M. Brown Act

Link to the California Legislature's website for Government Code Section 54950-54963.

ACCESSING CA State Government

The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act

Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act applies to California State agencies, boards, and commissions to assure that “the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.” The act facilitates accountability and transparency of government activities and protects the rights of citizens to participate in State government deliberations. It differs from California’s Brown Act, which applies to open meetings at the county and local level.

The act also reaffirms, “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”


Brown Act Essentials

Video: Brown Act Essentials
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2013 video featuring an overview of the Brown Act.