New Mexico Foundation For Open Government
Kicks Off Fundraising Campaign Aimed At Strengthening The Public’s Right To Know
May 13, 2021 — The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (NMFOG) has officially kicked off a fundraising campaign aimed at strengthening the 31-year-old organization’s efforts to increase the public’s right to know.
NMFOG’s goal is to raise $300,000 in “seed” money, which will pay for a dedicated attorney for two years as well as establishing a reserve fund for future years. It is believed the position will become self-sustaining through fees, court costs, statutory penalties and the development of an attorney referral network.
NMFOG has launched the public phase of its campaign with an announcement of grants, gifts and commitments totaling nearly $90,000, which reflects commitments from the board of directors.
“NMFOG’s board has done an enormous amount of work to create the foundation for a successful campaign, both in terms of planning and fundraising,” Susan Boe, current president, said. “To have reached this point before launching the public phase is no small accomplishment and it is, a move that will be a game changer for open government in New Mexico.”
President Boe said NMFOG already has a solid track record in fulfilling its mission of advocating, educating and litigating on behalf of the state’s Sunshine Laws.
“Litigation is usually a final step – but a crucial on,” Boe said. “Our friend of court (amicus) briefs filed in the New Mexico Court of Appeals and Supreme Court have been instrumental in shaping transparency law in the state. When FOG speaks, the appellate courts listen. In its 31-year history, FOG has prevailed in all but one case.”
“Freedom of information is not just for policy geeks,” she said. “It is a fundamental right recognized by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, placing it firmly within the body of universal human rights laws. The heart of a democratic society is access to information. Under-resourced democracy-preserving institutions, like FOG, urgently need support. Though millions of dollars pour into political campaigns, there is a big difference between influencing the outcome of a democratic process and making the process more democratic.”
Please join the members of the NMFOG board and contribute to the seed money to launch FOG’s Legal Initiative.