Since 1994, The Georgia First Amendment Coalition has advanced the cause of open government and freedom of information in Georgia through education and advocacy.
Among our accomplishments:
- In 1998, we suggested the open-government mediation program that now is in place in the Georgia attorney general’s office.
- In 2008, we conducted one of the first-ever student run state-wide open records audits in the country.
- In 2012, we collaborated with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens on a comprehensive update of the state’s open records and meetings laws, which increased penalties for violators, reduced costs for copying records and improved access to electronic records.
- We cooperated with Attorney General Thurbert Baker to publish “Georgia’s Sunshine Laws, A Citizen’s Guide to Open Government.”
- We joined with law enforcement organizations to publish “Georgia Law Enforcement and the Open Records Act: A Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Open Records in Georgia.”
- We joined Georgia AP to lead the only survey of open-government compliance in the state’s history in 1999, establishing a basis for where to proceed and place emphasis in open government advocacy.
- We successfully hosted the 1999 conference of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, which has birthed organizations like ours in 27 states.
- We created the annual Weltner Freedom of Information Banquet to raise funds for our work, and serve as an annual rally for freedom of information in our state.
- We published the newsletter “Georgia FOI Access.”
- We provide the analysis of bills called “Legislative Watch” during the 40 days of the January-to-March General Assembly session.
- We have led open government workshops across Georgia for citizens, public officials and the media.
- We worked with school organizations to create Georgia Public Schools and the Open Records Act.