Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition

The disinfecting power of sunshine, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis called it, is fundamental to a healthy democracy. CFOIC helps engaged citizens and journalists navigate the freedom-of-information laws that let us monitor state and local governmental agencies and hold them accountable.

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Blog/News Feed

Class

Public, Society Benefit 

Beneficiaries

General Public
General Public/Unspecified
Other Named Groups

Description

Blog items are specific to Colorado and written by or for our organization. Several articles in 2015 have concerned legislation in the Colorado General Assembly such as bills to underscore a citizen's right to record police, make the State Public Defender's office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act and open records of the state Division of Youth Corrections. A web page devoted to the legislature features a continuously updated "widget" from BillTrack50 that let readers closely follow bills we highlight.

The website's news feed is a clearinghouse of FOI-related articles written by other publications. It features news stories and opinion pieces from Colorado-based news sources as well as out-of-state articles collected and fed by the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The impact of the project is measured, in part, by the CFOIC's reach throughout the state and the organization's ability to connect with and help journalists and citizens via its FOI hotline and other projects.

More than 150 original news stories and commentaries have been published on the blog (as of May 2015). The news feed has linked to thousands of FOI-related articles from around Colorado and the nation.

FOI Hotline

Class

Public, Society Benefit 

Beneficiaries

General Public
General Public/Unspecified
Other Named Groups

Description

Through the CFOIC's freedom-of-information hotline, anyone can get answers to questions about access to public information, government meetings and court records/proceedings in Colorado. The service is backed by the state's leading First Amendment attorneys and other lawyers who have volunteered their time and expertise.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Persuaded the Jefferson County school district to reverse a decision to withhold teacher sick-leave records.

Persuaded the state health care exchange to release salary information for executives

Exposed Sunshine Law violations by cities that continue to use secret ballots to fill council vacancies, despite a 2012 state law banning that practice.

Exposed a Sunshine Law violation by the city of Englewood, which hired its new city manager in a series of closed meetings.

Helped get a $475-per-hour charge to inspect public records reduced to $30 per hour.

A college professor received a $3,600 bill for records she requested from her employer, a public university. We helped her successfully argue that the college's rate of $100 per hour was well above a "reasonable" rate as determined by case law.

A reporter for a business publication said that our advice on securing public information on financial incentives offered to a company considering relocation helped her produce an award-winning story.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.