NC Open Government Coalition

North Carolina Open Government Coalition

From Elon University's Sunshine Center via email:

NCOCG News: Jonathan Jones named new NCOGC director

In mid-August, Jonathan D. Jones, formerly an assistant district attorney for Durham County, became the director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition and Sunshine Center. His duties will include working with the coalition's board to organize the state’s annual Sunshine Day, advising citizens about open government issues, producing webinars or workshops around the state, handling communication for the coalition, and finding new ways to inform North Carolina citizens of the value and processes of open government in the state. He follows Brooke Barnett as the center’s director.

Read more about Jonathan and his plans for the center here

Sunshine Day March 11

Via e-mail from our friends at NC's Open Government Coalition:

Please join us for Sunshine Day from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, March 11 at the McKimmon Center on the N.C. State University campus. Speakers will include veteran journalists from North Carolina and more than a dozen experts and advocates for open government, including our keynote speaker Lucy Dalglish, the dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. We encourage citizens, journalists, government employees, librarians, lawyers, public officials, anyone and everyone to attend.

I don't have to tell anyone reading this what's at stake, now more than ever. The NC GOP knows that most of their policy efforts aid a handful of the wealthy while punishing the vast majority of our citizenry. And they will try to conceal that from the public at-large whenever possible. We can't allow that to happen.

Sunshine Day March 14

Via e-mail from our friends at NC's Open Government Coalition:

Please join us for Sunshine Day from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 14 at Elon University in Oaks 212. Speakers will include veteran journalists from North Carolina and more than a dozen experts and advocates for open government, including our keynote speaker Barbara A. Petersen, the president of the First Amendment Foundation. We encourage citizens, journalists, government employees, librarians, lawyers, public officials, anyone and everyone to attend.

Just an added note: If you haven't visited Elon's campus before (or for a long time), this is a great opportunity. Beautiful doesn't even cover it.

Sunshine Day conference March 17

Securing a future for dialogue on open government:

The schedule for the one-day conference will include:

•11:30 a.m.: Welcome, lunch and keynote address (NCOGC President Rick Willis will provide the welcome, and University of North Carolina System President Tom Ross will deliver the keynote)
•1 p.m.: Covering university trouble and contending with FERPA
•2 p.m.: Access to local government records
•3 p.m.: Using the new state personnel law

Sunshine update: Mediation questions

In pursuit of public records:

The Sunshine Center has received several inquiries about how citizens may take advantage of the procedure for mediating public records disputes that was enacted by the General Assembly in July. The legislation, which was intended to provide public records requesters and custodians with a process for resolving public records disputes short of litigation, became effective Oct. 1, but as of this writing it is not completely clear how the process will work and, more importantly, whether it will be effective.

Open government workshop in Asheville 10/14

New laws in North Carolina promise increased transparency and more effective procedures to settle public records disputes, including mediation and financial incentives. The Sunshine Center will explore these new laws and more with its regional workshop 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in Karpen Hall 038 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The event is free and for a wide audience, including the general public, media, public servants, civic organizations, legal professionals, students, educators - anyone with a stake in open government.

Even if you don't live in the Western part of the state, you should check this out. Besides, any excuse to visit the Asheville area is a good excuse, right? Leaf colors should be pretty sweet by then, and the apples? Forget about it. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

Let the Sunshine in: open government in NC

On the heels of last week's reflections on the psychological impact of transparency in government, an exploration of the natural and legal challenges associated with opening up government is in order.

I sat down with Elon University Associate Provost Dr. Connie Book the other day, who also serves as the Executive Director of the NC Open Government Coalition's Sunshine Center. The interview was illuminating to say the least, and I'd like to share with you some of the things Connie and I discussed.

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