The Foundation for Open Government is 30 today and it’s a big deal. Since 1989, FOG’s presence has been felt in every corner of New Mexico – from providing advice to an assistant district attorney in Northern New Mexico about redaction to the citizen in southern New Mexico who wants a copy of meeting minutes.
Our successes are many…
We have effectively lobbied to open legislative conference committees and we have lobbied against several moves in the legislature that would have weakened and limited transparency by increasing the exceptions to our laws, increased the costs to obtain records and denied the public’s right to learn about contenders for executive positions.
As part of our education efforts, we have hosted IPRA Bootcamps in several communities to provide the public with tips and techniques to obtain public records, clarify what’s a record and explore how to get timely compliance.
We joined a lawsuit to liberate state police records and prevailed in a lawsuit to get Valencia County Sheriff records. A FOG friend of court brief was cited with approval in an important ruling for access to public records by the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
Every day FOG fulfills its role as the leading expert on the state’s open meetings and records laws. We have answered hundreds of telephone calls on our hotline from private citizens, journalists, members of the business community and public officials who want to do the right thing about public records access and open meetings.
Finally, our outreach this year has included open government presentations to media groups, civic organizations and public employees on their right to know.
We keep busy and to celebrate our 30th year we are launching a new initiative called “30 for 30 – which we will share more details later so keep coming back. We are collecting testimonials from members to share about why they continue to stay involved with FOG. We are also continuing our work to push for better public policy.
At FOG we believe open government is good government. It is good for business, good for the people and good for New Mexico.