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Your essential weekly guide to the latest on FOIA, transparency and accountability battles, threats and wins. Powered by the reporters at MuckRock.

Join us on Democracy Day and use open records laws to spotlight threats to democracy

Democracy Day 2022 is almost here. MuckRock is excited to be one of an ever-growing list of organizations taking part in the coordinated initiative on September 15, spearheaded by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. 

Launched to spread awareness associated with the ongoing threats to democracy, Democracy Day provides an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of public records laws as an accountability tool. We have a great primer on public records to help you get started but we wanted to dig up other examples and inspiration for local requests to support other newsrooms digging into these important issues.

We look forward to helping Democracy Day participants, by providing them with the ability to file requests related to their reporting free of charge. We're also planning on sharing the reporting that results from the effort with those who follow us on our social media platforms and via a roundup on our site. 

We believe in making sure as many people as possible are equipped to help keep an eye on the democratic process. We're excited to see what results from this and subsequent coordinated efforts to do so.

Text excerpted from writing by André Natta. Image via Garry Knight / Flickr.

More about using public records to defend democracy
The update 

Upcoming FOIA Advisory Committee meetings. The National Archives and Records Administration's FOIA Advisory Committee has two public meetings coming up, one tomorrow (September 8) and the second next week (September 14). Tomorrow's meeting will welcome a new group of FOIA experts to the committee, transitioning from the 2020-2022 to 2022-2024 terms. Then, in next week's meeting, the new committee members will discuss their priorities for the coming two years.

Statewide election in Massachusetts may mean limited changes to transparency. In yesterday's Democratic primary, incumbent Bill Galvin defeated challenger Tanisha Sullivan for Secretary of the Commonwealth, a position that administers elections and oversees public records, among other duties. Dig Boston's Andrew Quemere explained how the race focused on sunshine laws, as Sullivan accused Galvin of failing to improve government transparency in the state.

FOIA finds  & top docs 

For The Record was written by Betsy Ladyzhets and edited by André Natta.

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