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As a journalist for a small, nonprofit newsroom, CalAware has been an indispensible resource for helping us push local governments to disclose crucial records that belong to the public, in spite of their best efforts to avoid doing so. Their prompt and expert legal advice not only helps me do my job, but helps me pass on that expertise to readers who are facing their own barriers to public access.
CalAware has been a tremendous resource to both me personally and our news organization. It is often the first entity we call when looking for sources or counsel on Brown Act and First Amendment issues, and has contributed mightily to our award winning coverage of Humboldt County. We are very grateful to have CalAware to turn to.
When our city council was repeatedly violating the Brown Act regarding inappropriate closed session discussions, a warning letter from CalAware stopped that practice immediately. There was literally no else for us to turn to for help as our local D.A. has other priorities. For those us fighting the ‘ground war’ for good government, there is just no substitute for the big guns’ at CalAware when you need them.
Calaware helped us prove that our water board cast an important vote in violation of the Brown Act, so they rescinded the vote and held a new one with full public notification.
I’m a newspaper reporter and a government watchdog in Dixon. I’m a member of CalAware, and it helped me understand my rights as a reporter and as citizen in order to hold government accountable and keep them open and transparent.
For the past 30+ years I have also been involved in trying to work with local government—counties, cities and special districts. CalAware has been very supportive in dealing with all of the different parts of the beast! The training material put out by CalAware is phenomenal, like “The CalAware Guide to Public Records and Private Information in California” or ” The CalAware Guide to Open Meetings in California” –– invaluable when you must attend a local government meeting or sit down to write a request for a public record! When all else fails, a phone call to the CalAware office gets me through the problem.