Encinitas Patch is participating in Sunshine Week 2012, a national effort to promote dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.
Throughout the week, to help you understand what you are entitled to under local and state and federal laws. Here are a few of the best that we’ve selected:
- CalAware, a group dedicated to government transparency in the state that keeps up to date tabs on transparency cases across the state and has helped develop and promote local open government initiatives in Alameda, Berkeley and Dixon. You can read more about how CalAware can help you keep your government open
- First Amendment Coalition website has an extensive array of resources on First Amendment issues and its new free iPhone and Android Know Your Rights app, iOpenGov.
- The California League of Cities has an excellent Open & Public IV: Guide to the Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s public meetings law.
- TheFirst Amendment.org has these useful guides on California public records and court documents: Pocket Guide to the California Public Records Act and the Pocket Guide to Courts & Court Records.
- The Reporters Committee has an Open Government Guide for every state. If you’re not familiar with California’s open meetings and open records laws, you can refer to the California guide online. It also offers The Digital Journalist’s Legal Guide for reference.
- The Political Reform Act of 1974 requires public officials to disclose assets and income that might be materially affected by their official actions. The California Fair Political Practices Commission keeps a central file of those statements of economic interests (SEI), also called Form 700. The Commission also provides information about who is funding ballot measures. You can review SEIs on the Commission's website. The Fair Political Practices Enforcement Division also investigates and administratively prosecutes violations of the Political Reform Act. If you believe a violation has occurred, you can file a complaint
- The Knight Citizen News Network’s The Citizen Journalist’s Guide to Open Government.
- SunshineWeek.org has a host of resources on its site.