Newly elected mayors and city council members from across the state talked about the importance of open and transparent government with Georgia First Amendment Association Vice President Jim Zachary at the Georgia Municipal Association Newly Elected Officials Institute, March 7-8.

GFAF board member Jim Zachary promotes government transparency at the 2019 Newly Elected Officials Institute hosted by the Georgia Municipal Association.

Zachary answered questions about the state’s Open Meetings Act and Open Records Act and provided copies of GFAF’s Red Book, Georgia’s Sunshine Laws: A Citizen’s Guide to Open Government.

More than 100 officials from over 60 cities attended the GMA event, which was held at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.

“Freshman city officials from all around the state—St. Marys, Walnut Grove, Columbus, Lawrenceville, Blackshear, Fitzgerald, Poulan, Lake City, Ashburn, Hoschton—and several other cities came by to talk,” Zachary said. “They are energized about entering public service and conscientious about the need to conduct the public’s business out in the open.”

The foundation offers open records and meetings training to public officials around the state and encourages government agencies and individual elected officials to join the organization to access resources and support the principles of government transparency. Learn more at or to by emailing