February 11, 2013
Dear Friend of the First Amendment:
Throughout a 21- year tenure as a justice on the Georgia Supreme Court, Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein has been an unwavering supporter of public access to the courts and a strong proponent of government transparency at all levels.
Sometimes, such as in the matter of whether or not to close pre-trial hearings in publicity-friendly capital felony cases, she would find herself initially in the minority on the court, arguing that “closure of a criminal proceeding should be the last resort of a trial court rather than the first response.”
But in time, and through her powers of persuasion, her firm conviction – that courts and court proceedings need to be open and accessible to the public – increasingly has become the Court’s position
Throughout the record of her decisions – in open records cases, open meetings cases, public access to cold case files, in matters of sealing conviction records – the chief justice has consistently embraced the notion that “the public’s business must be open, not only to protect against potential abuses, but also to maintain the public’s confidence in its officials.”
That was a view strongly endorsed by former Chief Justice Charles L Weltner. And so it seems particularly fitting that the board of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation has chosen Chief Justice Carol W. Hunstein to be the 2013 recipient of the Charles L. Weltner Freedom of Information Award.
Chief Justice Hunstein will be honored at a dinner to be held on Thursday March 14, 2012 at the offices of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP at 1100 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2800, in Atlanta, beginning at 6:15 p.m.
This year’s banquet will also honor Otis Brumby, Jr., as an Open Government Hero. Mr. Brumby passed away last year. For more than 40 years at the helm of the Marietta Daily Journal, he campaigned in print and often in court to hold public officials accountable to the state’s sunshine laws.
We are writing in hopes that you will join us at this special event as a sponsor of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation’s Weltner Award banquet.
■Platinum, including at least 8 tickets with preferred VIP seating for the dinner, premium recognition as a host and signage, and a full-page in the program, $5,000.
■Gold, including 6 tickets for the dinner, recognition and signage, and a half-page in the program, $2,500.
■Silver, including 4 tickets for the dinner, recognition and signage and a quarter-page in the program, $1,500.
GFAF, now in its 19th year, has worked closely with the Georgia Attorney General’s office, statewide county government, and judicial, educational and law enforcement organizations on training and education concerning Georgia’s open meetings and records laws. Georgia U.S. Representative John Lewis was the recipient of the 2012 award. Other recent winners have included Atlanta Journal-Constitution cartoonist Mike Luckovich; former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, former Attorney General Michael Bowers and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reporter Jim Houston. Recipients also have included Eason Jordan, former CNN newsgathering chief executive; Thurbert Baker, former Attorney General of Georgia; former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes; former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Fletcher; U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson; and U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob.
The dinner date is fast approaching. Please return the attached RSVP to reserve your sponsorship and tickets. Please let us know as soon as possible, or at the latest by March 1, if you will join us, to ensure full recognition in all dinner promotional materials. Thank you.
Hyde Post, President
Georgia First Amendment Foundation
March 14, 2013
Weltner Freedom of Information Banquet
Honoring Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein
Sponsorship Confirmation Form
YES, please include ___________________as a sponsor of the Wednesday, March 14, 2013 Weltner Freedom of Information Award banquet at the following level:
_____ ■Platinum, including at least 8 tickets with preferred VIP seating for the dinner, premium recognition as a host and signage, and a full-page in the program, $5,000.
_____ ■Gold, including 6 tickets for the dinner, recognition and signage, and a half-page in the program, $2,500.
_____ ■Silver, including 4 tickets for the dinner, recognition and signage and a quarter-page in the program, $1,500.
_____ Enclosed is a check made payable to the GEORGIA FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION (a 501(c)(3) organization; FEIN 58-2096815) in the amount of our sponsorship.
_____ Please bill me.
_____ Please contact the person listed below regarding tickets and updates. Name/Email/Phone:
Please return this form as soon as possible to ensure full credit on all dinner materials to: Georgia First Amendment Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 230, Decatur, GA 30030, (404) 525-3646 phone, (404) 377-0486 facsimile. If you have any questions about the dinner or your sponsorship please contact Hollie Manheimer, 404-525-3646, email@example.com.