Nominations are Now Open for 2018 William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Awards

Albuquerque, N.M. – The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government is now accepting nominations for the 2018 William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award.

The honor recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of citizens and organizations in New Mexico who champion transparency and defend the people’s right to know the affairs of government. Award recipients will be selected by a panel of FOG directors and will be honored at the annual “Your Right to Know” Dixon Lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.

“Since 2002, NMFOG has celebrated the men and women who have advanced the cause of transparency and accountability in New Mexico,” Kathi Bearden, committee chair, said.

The award honors the late William S. Dixon, a First Amendment advocate and NMFOG co-founder.

“Dixon was a brilliant attorney and a leading defender of free speech and public-access rights,” Bearden said. “He was known for his keen intellect, ringing laughter, lucid writing, integrity and idealism.  His legacy lives on through this award.”

Persons wishing to nominate an individual or organization are urged to fill out the form below and fill out all of the requirements. The deadline for nominations is June 15, 2018.

Awards categories include: business, law, education, government, media and citizen advocacy.

Dixon Award winners will be announced at the end of August and recognized at NMFOG’s annual Dixon Award Lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, at the Embassy Suites, 1000 Woodward Place, NE, in Albuquerque, N.M.

When making your nomination, please fill out the form below and email a letter including information about the nominee’s record of accomplishment advancing government transparency, holding the powerful accountable, inspiring civic engagement, or educating the public about their rights to know the affairs of government.

Email this letter to:

It is suggested that the nominations include a photograph of the nominee.

William S. Dixon Award Nomination Form

Previous recipients include: Former Albuquerque Mayors Martin Chavez and R.J. Berry; journalists  Kent Walz, Sandra Fish, Jeff Proctor, Colleen Heild, and Rob Dean, Heath Haussamen, Robert B. Trapp, Sammy Lopez, Rockford M. Hayes, Kathi Bearden, Peter St. Cyr; attorneys Blair Dunn, Jim Dines, Patrick Griebel, Jeremy Theoret, Pat Rogers, Matthew R. Hoyt, Hal  Simmons, Greg Williams, Martin Esquivel, Dolph Barnhouse and Charles “Kip” Purcell; public information officer Charles Wollmann; government State Sen. Sander Rue, Bob White, State Sen. Dede Feldman, State Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, State Rep. Joseph Cervantes, State Rep. Ted Hobbs, State Rep. Jeff Steinborn; the League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County; Corrales International School newspaper advisors Bryant Furlow and Scott Blackwell; Mark Leech, IT manager with the City of Albuquerque; New Mexico Tech President Daniel Lopez; UNM Regent and Daniels Insurance President Jamie Koch; former PNM CEO Jeff Sterba; former First State Bank CEO Michael Stanford; Lea County State Bank President Sam Spencer; Chad Painter, Eastern New Mexico University professor; J. Sean McCleneghan, New Mexico State University; Sondra Everhart, nursing and assistant-living homes ombudsman; Sonny Aris, Animal Village NM, and Presbyterian Healthcare Services President Jim Hinton.