Across the country, Sunshine Week 2016 will be marked by panel discussions, workshops and other events about using and understanding the latest developments in freedom of information resources.
If you’d like to see some of what went on in 2013-2015, visit The Vault.
|March 2, 2016||Freedom of Information Act Requests at the National Archives
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
In honor of Sunshine Week, the National Archives will host a presentation with staff discussing how they process FOIA requests. The 2 p.m. event, which is free and open to all with no advance registration required, will be held in the McGowan Theater at the Archives in Washington, and materials and video will be posted online. For more information, see the National Archives website.
|March 7, 2016||Curt Guyette and the Flint Water Crisis
Mid-Michigan SPJ Pro Chapter
To commemorate Sunshine Week, the Mid-Michigan SPJ Pro Chapter invited ACLU investigative journalist Curt Guyette to talk about his role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and about the ACLU’s advocacy journalism at the Lansing State Journal in the Knapp’s Centre from 6-8 p.m. More information is on the group’s Facebook page.
|March 10, 2016||2016 James Madison Freedom of Information Awards
Northern California Society of Professional Journalists
The 2016 James Madison Freedom of Information Awards recognizing Northern California organizations and individuals for outstanding FOI contributions will be presented at an awards dinner at The City Club in San Francisco. For a list of winners, information about ticket sales and other details about the event, visit the SPJ NorCal website.
|March 11, 2016||2016 National Freedom of Information Day Conference
First Amendment Center, Newseum Institute, Washington, D.C.
The annual Freedom of Information Day will be hosted again by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center in Washington. The daylong conference, which begins at 8 a.m., will include remarks from U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and OGIS Director James Holzer, as well as panel on ASNE’s Sunshine Week project, the American Library Association’s James Madison Award, and induction of a new class into the FOIA Hall of Fame. The event is free, but registration is required. More information is available on the Newseum Institute website.
|March 12, 2016||FOIA Fest 2016
The Chicago Headline Club, Loyola University Chicago and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation are hosting the fourth annual FOIA Fest at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students, $25 for Headline Club members and $20 for non-members, and include breakfast lunch and all sessions with leading journalists and FOIA experts. Registration and schedule information are on the FOIAIllinois.org website.
|March 12, 2016||Open Government and You: A Public Forum
League of Women Voters of Lee County and The News-Press Media Group
Advocates, the media and citizens will look at threats to Florida’s public records and open meetings laws during this public forum at The New-Press Building in Fort Myers. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and the conference begins at 1 p.m. Joining the League of Women Voters of Lee County and The News-Press Media Group as partners in the event are 14 southwest Florida organizations: The First Amendment Foundation; WatchdogCity.com; Office of the Lee County Clerk of Court; the Lee County Chamber of Commerce; the League of Women Voters, City of Sanibel; Lee County NAACP; Florida SouthWestern State College; ACLU of Florida (Lee and Collier Counties); Barry University; Florida Gulf Coast University Office of Community Outreach; Fort Myers/Naples NOW; Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce; the League of Women Voters of Collier County; and the American Association of University Women. For more information and to register, go to the event announcement online.
|March 14, 2016||Sunshine Week 2016 Celebration
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
The Justice Department will present agency professionals with Sunshine Week FOIA Awards and celebrate the 50th anniversary of FOIA during a public ceremony from 10 a.m.-noon at the Robert F. Kennedy Building in Washington. The keynote speaker is Acting Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery,Department of Justice Chief FOIA Officer. For more information about the program and how to register, go to the Department of Justice announcement online.
|March 14, 2016||Access to Police Records
Society of Professional Journalists Georgia Pro Chapter
The SPJ Georgia Pro Chapter will host a discussion including study results and experiences in accessing police information, including body cam video, social media and reports. The free event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Atlanta Journal Constitution. For more information about panelists and to reserve a spot, go to the SPJ Georgia Pro website.
|March 14, 2016||Special Sunshine Week Event
Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
OGIS will hold a special Sunshine Week event in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington from 1-4:30 p.m. Archivist of the United States David Ferriero and others will discuss law, policy and tools for government transparency. For more information, go to the OGIS blog.
|March 14, 2016||Global Transparency
National Press Club Freedom of Information Committee
Foreign journalists and policy experts will discuss government transparency laws around the world at an event hosted by the National Press Club’s Freedom of Information Committee from 6:30-8 p.m. at the NPC in Washington. The event costs $5 for NPC members and $10 for non-members. More information about the program and ticket purchases can be found on the NPC website.
|March 14, 2016||Public Meeting: NY State Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Laws
City of Auburn, N.Y.
At 7 p.m., the City of Auburn, N.Y. will host a presentation by Robert J. Freeman, executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government. The meeting, which will also stream online, is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required but are requested. To RSVP, or for more information, see the meeting notice online.
|March 14, 2016||MCCF Meeting on Open Data
Montgomery County (Md.) Civic Federation Inc.
The Montgomery County Civic Federation Inc. will focus its March meeting on open data issues in the region in celebration of Sunshine Week. The meeting begins at 7:45 p.m. in the Executive Office Building in Rockville, Md. For more information and directions, visit the MCCF website.
|March 14, 2016||Sunshine Day 2016
North Carolina Open Government Coalition
Sunshine Day 2016 will be marked by NCOGC with a daylong conference at the SALT Block Foundation in Hickory. The day’s activities will include a public records training session; lunch keynote by Charleston Post & Courier Executive Editor Mitch Pugh about the paper’s efforts to get documents in the criminal case against Dylann Roof; presentation of Sunshine Awards; and a panel on the use of police video in investigations. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to NCOGC’s online announcement.
|March 14, 2016||Google Hangouts: FOIA Chats
Virginia Coalition for Open Government
VCOG will host a Google Hangout to discuss FOIA issues, with an emphasis on the recent Virgina legislative session, hosted by Executive Director Megan Rhyne. For information on how to sign in, see VCOG’s Transparency News online.
|March 14-18, 2016||Sunshine Week events and special edition
Orbit Media, Muskingum University, New Concord, Ohio
Orbit Media — which represents The Black & Magenta newspaper, Orbit TV, and WMCO 90.7 radio at Muskingum University — kicks off Sunshine Week March 14 with a discussion with the city’s police and fire chiefs about officer-media relationships. On March 15, a “Slice & Dice” critique event will be held, and on March 16, there is an Orbit Media and Forensics Team open house. The week is capped March 18 with a special Sunshine Week edition of The Black & Magenta. Events are open to all students, and more information about times and locations is on the Orbit Media website.
|March 15, 2016||Sunshine Week Kickoff Event: Celebrating Openness
U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau
The Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau will kick off Sunshine Week with an event in the Commerce Department auditorium in Washington from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free and will include remarks on the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act by Melanie Pustay, Director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information Policy. More information and registration are online.
|March 15, 2016||Sunshine Week Panel Discussion and Luncheon
Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Foundation
The PNA is hosting a panel discussion with leading experts and attorneys about the state of open government in Pennsylvania. The discussion and luncheon at Widener University Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg are free and open to the public, but registration is required before March 10. CLE credit is available for attendees. For more information and to register, see the PNA’s online announcement.
|March 15, 2016||Delivering Data for Open Government
Special Libraries Association San Francisco Bay Region Chapter and Northern California Association of Law Libraries
Panelists from the California Attorney General’s Open Justice Team and from MapLight will discuss open government at an event held at Nile Hall at Preservation Park in Oakland, Calif., beginning at 6 p.m. Registration is $30 for members of the hosts, the Special Libraries Association San Francisco Bay Region Chapter and the Northern California Association of Law Libraries, and $50 for non-members. Students, those retired and those unemployed are $25. More information and registration will be posted to the SLA San Francisco website.
|March 15, 2016||Is Our Government Too Open?
Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri
Professors Bruce Cain from Stanford University and Charles Lewis of American University will debate whether the push for transparency is hurting lawmakers’ ability to reach agreement on policies. The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Fred W. Smith Forum (Room 200) at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. It also will be livestreamed via RJI Online. Registration is free but recommended. For more information and to sign up, go the RJI website.
|March 15, 2016||Meet the Watchdogs
Democrat Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.
Members of the Democrat and Chronicle Watchdog team will gather at the Daily Refresher for an informal meet-and-greet to discuss open government and freedom of information issues. The even is free, with a cash bar. The Democrat and Chronicle has more information online.
|March 15, 2016||Open Government Summit
D.C. Open Government Coalition and the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will talk about transparency in her administration during the Open Government Summit hosted by the the D.C. Open Government Coalition and the National Press Club on Tuesday, March 15 from 6-8:30 p.m. at the National Press Club. The evening will also feature government and civic experts discussing recently introduced FOIA legislation and open data. For tickets and more information, go to the National Press Club website.
|March 15, 2016||The Right to Know in New Hampshire: Where Are We, Where Are We Going?
Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications and the New England First Amendment Coalition
Public officials, attorneys and other First Amendment experts will join a panel discussion on freedom of information issues held at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester, N.H. The 7 p.m. event, co-hosted by the New England First Amendment Coalition, is free and open to the public. More information about panelists and the event is on the NEFAC website.
|March 15, 2016||Free Sunshine Week Seminar
New Jersey Foundation for Open Government
NJFOG will host a public seminar on using the state’s open records and meetings laws. The event, which begins at 7 p.m. at Belleville High School in Passaic, is free, but registration is requested. For more information, see NJFOG’s event posting online.
|March 15, 2016||Public Docs in the Information Age
The Journal News, White Plains, N.Y.
Journal News Watchdog Editor Frank Scandale and his team of reporters will host a public event to share tips, stories and information about how to get public documents. The event at Rockland Community College Technology Center from 7-9 p.m. will include hands-on demonstrations, and residents who want to file FOIL requests can do so and the team will track their progress. For more information and tickets, see the Journal News online announcement.
|March 15, 2016||Adapting the First Amendment to the Changing World of Journalism
Delaware Press Association and Delaware Coalition for Open Government
Widener University Delaware Law School Dean Rod Smolla will speak at a Sunshine Week event hosted by the Delaware Press Association and the Delaware Coalition for Open Government at 6:30 p.m. at the law school. The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, see the online announcement.
|March 15-17, 2016||Open Government Traveling Show
Society of Professional Journalists Madison Chapter and Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council
Wisconsin open government groups are planning a three-day, eight city tour around the state to highlight the importance of transparency during Sunshine Week. Participants include the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, the Madison chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, the Center for Media and Democracy, the MacIver Institute for Public Policy, and Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. The tour is also supported by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Each stop has its own local sponsor. Stops and local sponsors include: March 15: La Crosse, La Crosse Tribune; Eau Claire, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram and the UW-Eau Claire SPJ chapter. March 16: Wausa, Wausau Daily Herald-USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin; Green Bay, Green Bay Press-Gazette-USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin; Appleton, Appleton Post-Crescent-USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. March 17: Sheboygan, Sheboygan Press-USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin; Waukesha, Schott, Bublitz and Engel S.C.; Janesville, Janesville Gazette. For information about times and locations, go to the SPJ Madison website.
|March 16, 2016||Sunshine Week Open Gov Twitter chat
Project on Government Oversight
Beginning at 12 p.m. (Eastern) POGO will host a Sunshine Week Twitter chat on open government issues. Use the hashtag #MoreOversight to participate. For more information, see the POGO event announcement.
|March 16, 2016||Understanding New York’s Freedom of Information Law
Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.
The Democrat and Chronicle will host Robert J. Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, who will explain the state’s FOIL at a free forum from 5:50-7 p.m. at the newspaper’s building. The Democrat and Chronicle has more information online.
|March 16, 2016||Community Participation Fair
League of Women Voters of Humboldt County, Calif.
The League of Women Voters of Humboldt County is hosting its first Community Participation Fair during Sunshine Week. The free event, which includes music and refreshments, is open to the public and is designed to encourage civic engagement and community participation, particularly through volunteer opportunities. The fair will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka. More information is available online via the Local Coast Outpost.
|March 16, 2016||FOIA Experts Panel Discussion
National Press Club Journalism Institute, Washington, D.C.
A panel of Freedom of Information Act experts will discuss how FOIA is used and how it can be improved during a panel discussion hosted by the National Press Club Journalism Institute. Tickets for the event, which runs from 6:30-8 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, are $5 for Press Club members, $10 for non-members. For more information and to get tickets, see the online announcement.
|March 16, 2016||Invitation-only public records seminar
The Californian Media Group, Salinas
Legal authorities and reporters will lead a small group of public information requestors in a seminar on how to obtain state and federal public records and other documents, such as campaign disclosure documents. Seating for the event is limited and by invitation only. Those seeking an invitation should write to The Californian describing their interest in government transparency and public records laws. For more information about the event and how to apply, see The Californian’s announcement online.
|March 16, 2016||Freedom of Information Day Award and Keynote
Minnesota Coalition on Government Information
MNCOGI will present its annual John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award at a noon event at the Minneapolis Central Library. The keynote speaker is independent journalist Brandon Smith, whose lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department forced the City of Chicago to release a police dashcam video that shows a police officer shooting a teenager 16 times as he walked away from the officer. For more information, visit the MNCOGI website.
|March 16-17, 2016||Celebrating Openness
U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
The Bureau of the Census will hold public workshops describing its Open Government Plan and recognizing the upcoming 50th anniversary of the federal Freedom of Information Act. The night before, March 15, a kickoff event will be held at the Department of Commerce auditorium. The workshops on March 16 and 17 will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the U.S. Census Bureau Training Rooms in Suitland, Md. More information is in this public notice (pdf).
|March 17, 2016||Strengthening Citizen Voices with Public Participation: Sunshine Week
DigitalGov, U.S. General Services Administration
DigitalGov will host a livestream Sunshine Week discussion about civic participation in public services. Hosted by Justin Herman, General Services Administration, and Meredith Stewart, National Archives and Records Administration, the event from 2-3 p.m. (Eastern) will include panelists from the White House Office of Management and Budget, World Bank, 18F and a student from the University of New Hampshire. More information is on the DigitalGov website, and participants are encouraged to ask questions and pose ideas in advance using the hashtag #CitizenVoice.
|March 17, 2016||Celebrate Sunshine breakfast reception for lawmakers
Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Association
The Iowa Freedom of Information Council and the Iowa Newspaper Association will host their first Celebrate Sunshine breakfast reception for state legislators from 7-9 a.m. in the Capitol rotunda. The event is designed to remind lawmakers of the importance of open government. Read more about this and Sunshine Week materials offered by the groups on the INA website.
|March 17, 2016||E-Discovery, Records & Information Management Conference & Expo
Digital Government Institute, Washington, D.C.
Government and industry experts will discuss current technology-based requirements and examples of successful electronic records management and e-discovery programs, explore agency case studies for meeting the OMB Managing Government Records Directive requirements, and workflow challenges and debate over changing preservation rules. The event, which is free for government professionals, will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and to register, go to the Digital Government Institute website.
|March 17, 2016||FOIA IT Working Group Meeting
U.S. Department of Justice
The Justice Department will host a meeting of government agency FOIA and IT professionals discussing best practices and use of new technology to process release of information to the public. Registration information can be found on the Justice Department website.
|March 17, 2016||Behind the headlines: Keeping public records public
Milwaukee Press Club
The Milwaukee Press Club will host a public discussion and luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Lake Express High-Speed Ferry Terminal, during which open government experts and public officials will face a panel of journalists asking about the state of access — and proposed changes — to government meetings, files and records in Wisconsin. The event’s presenting sponsor is Brico Fund, supporting sponsor is Foley & Lardner LLP, and it is hosted by Lake Express, which donated space for the event. Cost, including lunch, is $20 for MPC members, $25 for non-members, and seating is limited. More information about the event and ticket purchases can be found on the MPC website.
|March 17, 2016||Shining Light on Law Enforcement and Access to Justice: The U.S. and Beyond
Open Government Partnership and OpenGov Hub
The Open Government Partnership and OpenGov Hub will host a Sunshine Week discussion on access on justice and law enforcement reforms, including worldwide commitments and efforts in the U.S. to make this information more transparent. Joining the discussion will be representatives from the Justice Department’s Office for Access to Justice and the Office of Management and Budget’s Community Solutions department. The event at the OpenGov Hub in Washington begins at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, see the online event announcement.
|March 18, 2016||Sunshine Week Speaker
East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists
The East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists will host a talk by Deborah Fisher, director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. For details, see the chapter website.
|March 18, 2016||Sunshine Week FOI-a-thon
Cap off Sunshine Week with the MuckRock team at the Out of the Blue Too gallery in Cambridge, Mass., with a free public records primer and workshop, followed by drinks and networking. The event, which begins at 6 p.m. is free, but registration is requested. Find more information and registration on the MuckRock events page.
|March 19, 2016||Transparency Camp Online 2016
The first Transparency Camp Online will close out Sunshine Week with a daylong, completely online “unconference” on open government, with agenda topics determined by participants who participate by phone or video chat. More about the conference is in a guest blog by organizer Lucas Cioffi of Charlottesville, Va., on the Sunlight Foundation website (Sunlight is not an organizer of this event). Session and ticket information is available via the Transparency Camp Online announcement.
|March 23, 2016||Sunshine in the Shade: Uncovering Outside Influence on Local Elections
New Mexico State University Library
The NMSU Library will be holding a Sunshine Week panel at 5:30 p.m. in the Zuhl Library that includes state and city official representatives, Viki Harrison from Common Cause, and Dr. Daniel Chand from the NMSU Government department to discuss the influence felt in local city elections by outside parties. See the library events calendar for more information.
|April 2, 2016||A Night of Sunshine: FOI Oklahoma’s Annual Sunshine Awards
Freedom of Information Oklahoma Inc.
FOI Oklahoma will celebrate the best — and worst — in open government during a fundraising dinner at The District House in Oklahoma City. In addition to presenting its FOI Awards, the group will hear from Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center and Robert Henry of Oklahoma City University. For more information and to purchase tickets, see the FOI Oklahoma announcement online.