“What have we done for you lately?”
That’s a reasonable question to ask as the New England First Amendment Coalition issues its Annual Appeal for support of our open-government mission. And, our response is simple: “A lot, and with your help we’ll be able to do much more.”
During the past year NEFAC:
- Launched the New England First Amendment Institute, which saw 25 journalists study freedom of information law and investigative reporting techniques under a stellar faculty. NEFAI – II will take place Sept. 30 – Oct. 2.
- Revamped The NEFAC Report, a monitor of First Amendment news from the region, from a compendium into a newsletter with original content. The Report, in old and new style, has been issued monthly since February 2010.
- Advocated in courts and in New England legislatures on a variety of government transparency cases and legislative proposals.
- Presented Boston Globe Editor Marty Baron with NEFAC’s Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award for his work on behalf of the public’s right to know. The first Hamblett went to New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis in 2011 and the third will be presented in Boston in February.
- Hosted Sunshine Week training sessions on FOI law in Manchester, N.H., and Portland, Maine.
- Conducted a legal audit of the six New England states’ public records laws for a report to be issued this fall.
- Readied launch of a public awareness campaign encompassing print and TV ads on the importance of freedom of information, a new website and Facebook page to be rolled out in November.
Rosanna Cavanagh, our executive director, aptly describes NEFAC’s essential connection to its supporters.
“The progress we have made this year in educating the public on their right to know, achieving legislative reforms of public records statutes and expanding awareness of the importance of our First Amendment freedoms to our Democratic society would not be possible without passionate and generous supporters for whom we are truly grateful.”
A gift in any amount would be welcome. Here are some some suggested levels for your donation:
Your contribution will pay for a training session for members of the public on First Amendment and Freedom of Information laws.
Friend of the First Amendment $250
Your contribution will allow us to train staff of an organization.
Director’s Circle $500
Your contribution will pay the expenses of one of our New England First Amendment Institute fellows.
President’s Circle $1,000
Your contribution will allow ten journalism students to attend our annual fundraising luncheon and be inspired by the recipient of the Hamblett Award.
Your contribution will cover honorariums to ten Institute faculty members.
Thank you in advance for anything you can do to help us pursue our mission.
Mary Jane Wilkinson