Across the country, Sunshine Week 2014 will be marked by panel discussions, workshops and other events about using and understanding the latest developments in freedom of information resources.
To have your Sunshine Week 2014 event included, please send details and a link or email contact for more information to: email@example.com.
If you’d like to see some of what went on in 2013, visit The Vault.
|Jan. 23, 2014||Sunshine Week Town Hall
OpenTheGovernment.org, Washington, D.C.
OpenTheGovernment.org is getting a jump start on Sunshine Week 2014 by hosting a town hall in Washington, D.C., for potential participants to discuss their plans and cut down on programming and scheduling overlap. The meeting can be attended in person or remotely. To sign up, go to http://www.openthegovernment.org/node/4236 or contact Amy Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-332-6736
|Feb. 25, 2014-ongoing||Audit your local government’s website
Watchdog Wire is asking you, citizen watchdogs, to audit your city, county or township website. Can you access budgets on your county website or find contact information for all public officials? Are meeting minutes available? Is there a database of all public spending? It’s easy to audit your city or county website. Click here to get started!.
|March 4, 2014||Student Infographic Contest
New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
New Mexico State University is holding an infographic contest for students to mark Sunshine Week, using the state’s Open Meetings Act or Inspection of Public Records Act as inspiration. Deadline for entries is March 4, and winners will be announced at a public ceremony March 20. The contest is sponsored by NMSU alumnus Tim Parker, the NMSU Library and the NMSU Department of Journalism & Mass Communications. More information is online here.
|March 11, 2014||Open Government and Freedom of Information: Reinvigorating the Freedom of Information Act for the Digital Age
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on open government and freedom of information at 10:15 a.m. in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington. For a list of witnesses and to listen to a webcast of the hearing, go to the Judiciary Committee website.
|March 12, 2014||Missouri’s Sunshine Law: Shining a Light on Government
Columbia Public Library, Columbia, Mo
Speaker Nathan Nickolaus, a former municipal attorney and author of “The Sunshine Law,” will discuss the specific provisions of the Missouri’s Sunshine Law and how well it works. Co-sponsored by the Columbia Public Library, the Missouri Sunshine Coalition and the League of Women Voters, this forum will cover some recent cases in which the public has benefited from open government and ponder the question of whether closed meetings are ever justified. Nickolaus’ talk will be followed by an open Q/A discussion. For more information, see the library’s website.
|March 14, 2014||National Freedom of Information Day
The Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, Washington, D.C.
The 16th annual National Freedom of Information Day will be held March 14 at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, the day will feature panel discussions and speakers, including a look at media leaks past and present co-sponsored by OpenTheGovernment.org and the Sunshine in Government Initiative. The American Library Association will also present its annual James Madison Award. Register online here.
|March 14, 2014||Second Annual FOIA Fest
Chicago Headline Club
The Chicago Headline Club will host its second annual FOIA Fest, a full day of programming including the results of a study of FOIA mediation, hands-on workshops on how to file a FOIA request, and how to work with documents and data. FOIA Fest will be held at Loyola University in Chicago from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information and free registration, click here.
|March 15, 2014||Oklahoma Sunshine Conference
FOI Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
FOI Oklahoma will hold its 2014 Sunshine Conference on March 15 at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library in Oklahoma City. Speakers will include a former FBO agent, state legislators and representatives from the state attorney general’s office. Winners of the Marian Opala First Amendment Award and FOI awards will also be recognized. For more information, see the FOI Oklahoma website.
|March 17, 2014||Sunshine Week 2014 Celebration
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington
The Justice Department will mark Sunshine Week 2014 with a program at its Washington headquarters noting the advances federal agencies have made in FOIA administration, as well as marking the fifth anniversary of the attorney general’s FOIA Guidelines issued during Sunshine Week 2009. The event from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the DOJ Robert F. Kennedy Building is free and open to the public and agency personnel. Photo ID is required for admission to the building. For more information and to register, see the DOJ announcement online.
|March 17, 2014||Panel Discussion: Public Records and Data
Georgetown University Master’s in Journalism program and the Georgetown chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists
The Georgetown Master’s in Journalism program and the Georgetown chapter of SPJ are hosting a Sunshine Week panel discussion with reporters and faculty about public records and data at Georgetown Downtown in Washington, beginning at 6 p.m. Use this link to RSVP before 5 p.m. March 16. Light refreshments will be served.
|March 17, 2014||Open Government and Civic Technology Meetup
Open Austin, Texas
Open Austin will host a meetup from 6:45-8:45 p.m. at the Terrazas Branch Library in Austin, Texas, to discuss “Public Information in the Age of Open Data.” Sherri Greenberg, director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas has been invited to speak. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, go to the Open Austin website or email email@example.com.
|March 17, 2014||Celebrate Sunshine Week
Society of Professional Journalists Virginia Pro Chapter, Richmond
To mark Sunshine Week, SPJVA will host Repoters Committee Legal Fellow Emily Grannis in a demonstration of the iFOIA system for electronically filing and tracking information requests. The group also will get a legislative update from SPJ Secretary-Treasurer Paul Fletcher. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. in Richmond. See the SPJVA website for details and RSVP.
|March 18, 2014||Seventh Annual FOI Day Celebration
Collaboration on Government Secrecy
Washington College of Law, American University, Washington
The Collaboration on Government Secrecy will hold its annual Freedom of Information Day Celebration with panel discussions and presentation of the Robert Vaughn FOIA Legend Award to former NBC News legal reporter and former Department of Justice Director of Public Affairs Carl Stern, who also will give the keynote address. View a PDF of the agenda, and find more details on the CGS website.
|March 18, 2014||“Data Transparency in Financial Regulation”
Data Transparency Coalition, Washington, D.C.
Commissioners from the SEC and CFTC will headline a breakfast on the adoption of data standards and transparency in financial regulation. A panel will also convene representatives from the U.S. Treasury Department, the FDIC, and FINRA. Registration for the breakfast, which runs from 7:30-9 a.m. at the 1776 tech incubator, is available at DataTransparencyBreakfast.eventbrite.com. The breakfast is being hosted by the Data Transparency Coalition with support from PwC.
|March 18, 2014||Unlocking Government Data
National Press Club Freedom of Information Committee, Sunlight Foundation, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, OpentheGovernment.org, ProPublica and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Washington
Open-government groups are hosting a panel discussion from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington titled “Partly Cloudy: Why ‘Public Information’ Doesn’t Always = Accessible Information” that will look at tools for accessing government data. Admission is free, but registration is required. Find more event and registration information on the Press Club website.
|March 18, 2014||Open Meetings, Public Records
New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, Santa Fe
NMFOG Executive Director Susan Boe and board members Ray Rivera, editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican, and Daniel Yohalem, a Santa Fe attorney, will discuss open meetings and public records issues at 6 p.m. at Collected Works Bookstore in Santa Fe. The event is free and open to the public. More information about NMFOG can be found on its website.
|March 19, 2014||Mining Emails: Unearthing Scandals at the Statehouse
Ball State University, Departments of Journalism and Telecommunications, Muncie
Ball State University’s Departments of Journalism and Telecommunications will host a professionals-in-residence program with AP Correspondent Tom LoBiano and Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt, who will discuss how stories developed from access to email of the former superintendent of public instruction led to his downfall. The program runs from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in room AJ175. See the promotional poster for more details.
|March 19, 2014||D.C. Open Government Summit
D.C. Open Government Coalition, Washington
The D.C. Open Government Coalition will hold its third annual D.C. Open Government Summit focusing on open government in neighborhoods and communities. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the National Press Club and is cosponsored by the National Press Club’s Freedom of the Press Committee, the D.C. Professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American University School of Communication. For more details and registration information as it becomes available, check the D.C. Open Government coalition website.
|March 19, 2014||Panel: Do government press offices interfere with reporting?
Education Writers Association, National Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists
The National Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists will host a 1:30 p.m. panel discussion on the results of an SPJ-sponsored survey of state and federal reporters’ perceptions of government press office interference with reporting. The panel also will examine a survey of education writers, co-sponsored by SPJ and the Education Writers Association. More information and registration is on the Press Club website.
|March 19, 2014||Transparency Tweet-up
WatchdogWire and the Center for Responsive Politics
@WatchdogWire and @OpenSecretsDC will host a Tweet-up at 12 p.m. (Eastern). Participants who want to talk transparency on Twitter should use the hashtag #WDWTU.
|March 20, 2014||Threats to Transparency: Problems with Money in Politics
Center for Responsive Politics
Lobbying disclosure, campaign finance disclosure and dark money will be discussed by panelists at the Center for Responsive Politics’ event at the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C. The program will be held from 2-5 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Registration information is coming soon to the CRP website.
|March 20, 2014||Sunshine Week Seminar
Lee County Clerk of Court, Florida
Lee County Clerk of Court Linda Doggett is hosting a free two-hour seminar on “The Value of Searching Public Records and Online Services” to teach people how to find information on the clerk’s website. For more information and to register, go to the Clerk of Court website.
|March 20, 2014||Civil Liberties Dead Zone: Do First and Fourth Amendment Rights Not Apply at the Border?
National Press Club Freedom of the Press Committee
A 6:30 p.m. panel discussion hosted by the National Press Club Freedom of the Press Committee will examine known cases of media workers and journalists who have been interrogated at the U.S. border by Homeland Security Department officials, who have demanded access to laptops, thumb drives and other digital devices. The event is free to NPC members and $5 for the public. More information and registration information is on the Press Club website.
|March 20, 2014||Open Government Forum
New Mexico Foundation for Open Government
NMFOG Executive Director Susan Boe will talk about open government at a 7 p.m. forum at Bookworks bookstore in Albuquerque. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about NMFOG, visit its website.
|March 20, 2014||James Madison Freedom of Information Awards
Northern California Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists
The Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will present its 2014 James Madison Freedom of Information Awards to student and professional journalists who have fought for transparency in the past year. Also honored will be former San Francisco Chronicle Editor Peter Sussman, who will receive the Norwin S. Yoffie Award for Career Achievement. For more information, see the SPJ-NorCal website.
|March 20, 2014||Pre-release screening: “The Unknown Known”
Sunlight Foundation and Project on Government Oversight
To celebrate Sunshine Week, the Sunlight Foundation and the Project on Government Oversight are hosting a pre-release screening in Washington of the film “The Unknown Known,” by Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris. A panel discussion will follow. Doors for the free event open at 6:30 p.m., and the film begins promptly at 7 p.m. Seating is on a first-come basis, and registration, available online here, does not guarantee entry. The screening is courtesy of Participant Media and RADiUS-TWC.
|March 21, 2014||Supreme Sunshine: Shining a Light on the High Court
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Washington
A panel of legal experts, moderated by Slate Supreme Court reporter Dahlia Lithwick, will examine transparency, or lack thereof, in the U.S. Supreme Court at this breakfast panel discussion beginning at 9:30 a.m. at NYU Washington. The event is free and open to the public, and those attending will have the opportunity to participate in “The SCOTUS Booth of Truth” where they can record a short video with their thoughts on transparency at the Court. To register, or to watch the event live online, go to the NYU Washington website.
|March 21, 2014||Screening: “JFK: A President Betrayed”
JFK Vigil, Washington, D.C.
JFK Vigil will host a video screening of “JFK: A President Betrayed” at the Goethe-Institut in Washington, D.C. The film will be followed by a discussion of how “constitutional activism” can help expedite release of assassination-related records still classified. Suggested donation for the event is $10. Click here for more information and to register.
|March 23, 2014||2014 Sunshine Week Seminar
New Jersey Foundation for Open Government
NJFOG will host two panels during its annual Sunshine Week seminar at the Clementon Community Center from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Cost is $10 online and $15 at the door, which covers lunch and refreshments. Students with a valid ID can attend for $3. For more information and to sign up, go to the NJFOG website.