First Amendment Foundation

First Amendment Foundation

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Just in time for Sunshine Week! The 2022 edition of the Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual is available for preorder. Delivery will begin in April. https://first-amendment-foundation.myshopify.com/
FAF board member Bob Shaw argues for keeping searches for university and college presidents in the sunshine. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-university-president-searches-20220216-bh5dbyjva5hjhfyurihhqsczoi-story.html.
The Florida Supreme Court will consider Marsy's Law case between Tallahassee and police union. The First Amendment Foundation and a coalition of news outlets intervened, arguing that applying Marsy's Law to law enforcement officers would undermine Florida's public records laws.

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2021/12/21/florida-supreme-court-review-marsys-law-dispute-tallahassee/8980067002/
"...the right to access public records is of a constitutional magnitude"

Appellate court reverses dismissal of public records lawsuit for documents in possession of third-party contractor. In an amicus brief, FAF, ACLU of Florida, Southern Poverty Law Center argued that the argued that argued that the dismissal order, if affirmed, will create a two-tier framework to obtain records in possession of private contractors – contrary to the Public Records Act. Access to records of government contractors is critical to oversight of Florida's prisons and jails as more services are privatized. The amicus brief was drafted by Brian Frontino and Kingsley Nwamah of Stroock & Strook & Lavan.

https://floridafaf.org/court-reverses-dismissal-of-public-records-case-against-contractor/
ONE DAY LEFT! Don't wait to bid on autographed books, virtual time with authors, and other unique gifts. All proceeds support
FAF and open government.

https://www.32auctions.com/floridaauthor4FAF
Don't wait this holiday season! FAF can help you find unique gifts, while supporting work by well-known Florida authors, from Carl Hiaasen and Gilbert King to Lauren Groff and Amy Green. New titles from Joe Hutto and Rita Coolidge were added this week. The proceeds help FAF continue our critical mission to fight for open government and more transparency in Florida.

https://www.32auctions.com/floridaauthor4FAF
New titles added to FAF's auction! Bid on autographed books from Rita Coolidge and Joe Hutto. Plus, there is still time to bid on one-on-one time with Pulitzer Prize winner Gilbert King, James Beard Award winner Carlos Frias, and writing coach Roy Peter Clark. All proceeds support FAF and open government in Florida.
https://www.32auctions.com/floridaauthor4FAF
Why support FAF on Giving Tuesday? Because when you support us, you support open and transparent government in Florida. Your money supports our efforts to curtail the number of exemptions to Florida's public records laws and enables staff to assist journalists and individuals acquire public records. Your gifts on Giving Tuesday, an international day of generosity, will allow FAF to educate the public on their right to know and advocate for Government in the Sunshine. Please make FAF one of your top five nonprofit considerations for year-end giving.

https://floridafaf.kindful.com/?campaign=357077
Looking for gifts for loved ones? Get Tampa Bay Lightning tickets and autographed books from Meg Cabot, Lauren Groff, David Brooks and more. Spend with authors like Ace Atkins, Amy Green, Carlos Frias, and more! All proceeds support FAF and open government.

https://www.32auctions.com/floridaauthor4FAF

The First Amendment Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 to protect and advance t

Operating as usual

Gov. DeSantis’ office considered a bill to target libel laws, records show 05/18/2022

Gov. DeSantis’ office considered a bill to target libel laws, records show

Gov. DeSantis’ office considered a bill to target libel laws. Legislating a new libel standard would set up a constitutional challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York Times v. Sullivan, said First Amendment Foundation Executive Director, Pamela Marsh. “That case has been the ‘law of the land’ for decades.”

Gov. DeSantis’ office considered a bill to target libel laws, records show The idea didn’t make it onto the 2022 agenda for the Florida Legislature.

Brevard County Commission considers new rules for records requests, opponents call them 'roadblocks' 04/14/2022

Brevard County Commission considers new rules for records requests, opponents call them 'roadblocks'

Brevard County Commission considers new public records requests rules. FAF's general counsel Ed Birk questions whether commissioners should be involved in reviewing their own records to fulfill requests.

“That is like the fox guarding the hen house,” Birk said. “You are letting the people whose records are being requested, you are going to let them do the collection of the documents and deciding what is public record and what is not.”

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2022/04/14/brevard-county-commission-considering-public-records-changes/9499994002/

Brevard County Commission considers new rules for records requests, opponents call them 'roadblocks' Brevard County officials want to make changes to public records request rules that opponents claim will make transparency and oversight more difficult

Sheriffs: Marsy’s Law shouldn’t shield police 04/13/2022

Sheriffs: Marsy’s Law shouldn’t shield police

In a case before the Florida Supreme Court, sheriffs argue that Marsy's Law should not shield the identity of officers involved in shootings.

As FAF's Pamela Marsh explains, "when you have an anonymous law enforcement officer who's been involved in a killing, there is no accountability to the public."
https://tallahasseedemocrat-fl.newsmemory.com?selDate=20220413&goTo=A03&artid=0

Sheriffs: Marsy’s Law shouldn’t shield police Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood has filed a brief with the Florid

DeSantis staff delayed release of Gaetz associate Halsey Beshears’ spending records 04/05/2022

DeSantis staff delayed release of Gaetz associate Halsey Beshears’ spending records

DeSantis staff delayed release of Department of Business and Professional Regulation records for additional review. FAF's Pamela Marsh explains why this type of delay is inconsistent with the public records law.

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2022/04/04/desantis-staff-delays-release-of-gaetz-associate-halsey-beshears-spending-records/

DeSantis staff delayed release of Gaetz associate Halsey Beshears’ spending records In a move criticized by advocates of Florida’s open government laws, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ staff intervened in a public records request related to a former appointee who is reportedly connected to a federal s*x trafficking investigation, documents obtained by News 6 show.

Government in the darkness: Don’t shield university president searches | Commentary 02/16/2022

Government in the darkness: Don’t shield university president searches | Commentary

FAF board member Bob Shaw argues for keeping searches for university and college presidents in the sunshine. https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-university-president-searches-20220216-bh5dbyjva5hjhfyurihhqsczoi-story.html.

Government in the darkness: Don’t shield university president searches | Commentary At a time when four large state universities are or will be seeking new presidents, a new bill under consideration by the Legislature will essentially exclude the public from the selection process.

Supreme Court agrees to consider Marsy's Law dispute between city of Tallahassee and police union 12/21/2021

Supreme Court agrees to consider Marsy's Law dispute between city of Tallahassee and police union

The Florida Supreme Court will consider Marsy's Law case between Tallahassee and police union. The First Amendment Foundation and a coalition of news outlets intervened, arguing that applying Marsy's Law to law enforcement officers would undermine Florida's public records laws.

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2021/12/21/florida-supreme-court-review-marsys-law-dispute-tallahassee/8980067002/

Supreme Court agrees to consider Marsy's Law dispute between city of Tallahassee and police union The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the identity of law enforcement officers can be shielded by the victim’s rights constitutional amendment Marsy’s Law.

12/07/2021

Court reverses dismissal of public records case against contractor

"...the right to access public records is of a constitutional magnitude"

Appellate court reverses dismissal of public records lawsuit for documents in possession of third-party contractor. In an amicus brief, FAF, ACLU of Florida, Southern Poverty Law Center argued that the argued that argued that the dismissal order, if affirmed, will create a two-tier framework to obtain records in possession of private contractors – contrary to the Public Records Act. Access to records of government contractors is critical to oversight of Florida's prisons and jails as more services are privatized. The amicus brief was drafted by Brian Frontino and Kingsley Nwamah of Stroock & Strook & Lavan.

https://floridafaf.org/court-reverses-dismissal-of-public-records-case-against-contractor/

Court reverses dismissal of public records case against contractor December 7, 2021 By FLFAF Court reverses dismissal of public records case against contractor The Third District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Human Rights Defense Counsel and reversed the dismissal of the organization’s public records lawsuit against Armor Correctional Health. The First Amend...

12/02/2021

Don't wait this holiday season! FAF can help you find unique gifts, while supporting work by well-known Florida authors, from Carl Hiaasen and Gilbert King to Lauren Groff and Amy Green. New titles from Joe Hutto and Rita Coolidge were added this week. The proceeds help FAF continue our critical mission to fight for open government and more transparency in Florida.

https://www.32auctions.com/floridaauthor4FAF

12/01/2021

New titles added to FAF's auction! Bid on autographed books from Rita Coolidge and Joe Hutto. Plus, there is still time to bid on one-on-one time with Pulitzer Prize winner Gilbert King, James Beard Award winner Carlos Frias, and writing coach Roy Peter Clark. All proceeds support FAF and open government in Florida.
https://www.32auctions.com/floridaauthor4FAF

11/30/2021

Why support FAF on Giving Tuesday? Because when you support us, you support open and transparent government in Florida. Your money supports our efforts to curtail the number of exemptions to Florida's public records laws and enables staff to assist journalists and individuals acquire public records. Your gifts on Giving Tuesday, an international day of generosity, will allow FAF to educate the public on their right to know and advocate for Government in the Sunshine. Please make FAF one of your top five nonprofit considerations for year-end giving.

https://floridafaf.kindful.com/?campaign=357077

11/27/2021

Looking for gifts for loved ones? Get Tampa Bay Lightning tickets and autographed books from Meg Cabot, Lauren Groff, David Brooks and more. Spend with authors like Ace Atkins, Amy Green, Carlos Frias, and more! All proceeds support FAF and open government.

https://www.32auctions.com/floridaauthor4FAF

Gabby Petito case: North Port redacts records on Petito, Laundrie family 09/22/2021

Gabby Petito case: North Port redacts records on Petito, Laundrie family

In response to records requests related to Gabby Petito and the Laundrie family, North Port police provide nearly 40 fully redacted reports.

https://www.yoursun.com/northport/news/gabby-petito-case-north-port-redacts-records-on-petito-laundrie-family/article_a0bf1a5e-1aec-11ec-bb0c-077115f7e247.html?fbclid=IwAR0CrZ_zFviRp2tSJCGjKXxEb73q998rnxEwJAjgg7LlZG5wcKXkLRpb110

Gabby Petito case: North Port redacts records on Petito, Laundrie family NORTH PORT — In a recent public records request on the Laundrie family and Gabrielle Petito, the North Port Police Department provided nearly 40 fully redacted reports.

State workers scared over COVID, say Florida agencies have no plan to protect them 09/13/2021

State workers scared over COVID, say Florida agencies have no plan to protect them

Want to know an agency's COVID-related procedure? It may take months to get a response. https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/politics/2021/09/08/covid-infections-worry-floridas-state-employees-who-want-safer-work-environment-desantis-telework/5686227001/

State workers scared over COVID, say Florida agencies have no plan to protect them Tallahassee legislators are asking Gov. DeSantis to resume telework option for state workers, and to provide clarity about COVID-related work protocols.

The Journal of Civic Information 09/01/2021

The Journal of Civic Information

A new study published in the Journal of Civic Information finds states with open government advocacy groups tend to enact stronger laws and build a culture of openness. https://journals.flvc.org/civic/.

The Journal of Civic Information The Journal of Civic Information is a peer-reviewed online publication of scholarly research related to the field of accessibility of public information. Topics may include issues regarding access to public records and meetings, court transparency, access to public employees and elected officials, o...

What Went Wrong With the Pandemic in Florida 08/30/2021

What Went Wrong With the Pandemic in Florida

Florida pulled back on sharing pandemic data when the state ended its state of emergency. Subsequently, the number of deaths increased. The limited data available makes it harder to know who is dying and where the deaths are occurring.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/28/us/florida-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccines-variant.html?smid=tw-share

What Went Wrong With the Pandemic in Florida Even a large state that emphasized vaccinations in combating the coronavirus can be crushed by the Delta variant when no other measures are put in place.

Judge Daniel finds in Rayonier's favor - BOCC officials violated Public Records Act 08/26/2021

Judge Daniel finds in Rayonier's favor - BOCC officials violated Public Records Act

Judge finds Nassau BOCC officials violated Public Records Act by improperly deleting text messages and failing to timely respond to records request. https://fernandinaobserver.com/county-news/judge-daniels-finds-in-rayoniers-favor-bocc-officials-violated-public-records-act/

Judge Daniel finds in Rayonier's favor - BOCC officials violated Public Records Act By Adam Kaufman Legal Analyst August 25, 2021 Circuit Court Judge James H. Daniel, on August 24, 2021, ruled that as a matter of law Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) officials and county employees violated

Veteran journalist Mira Lowe named dean of FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication 08/25/2021

Veteran journalist Mira Lowe named dean of FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

FAF is so fortunate to have Mira as a leader on our Board. We look forward to having her at FAMU!

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2021/08/25/mira-lowe-named-dean-famu-school-journalism-graphic-communication/5585985001/

Veteran journalist Mira Lowe named dean of FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication Mira Lowe, a veteran journalist, has been named dean of FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication.

Assistant Dean Mira Lowe Named Dean of FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication 08/25/2021

Assistant Dean Mira Lowe Named Dean of FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

FAF is beyond proud of board member Mira Lowe, who will be the next dean of FAMU's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication. She will make an excellent dean. Congrats, Dean Lowe!

https://www.jou.ufl.edu/2021/08/25/assistant-dean-mira-lowe-named-dean-of-famu-college-of-journalism-and-graphic-communication/

Assistant Dean Mira Lowe Named Dean of FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) today announced that Mira Lowe, assistant dean for student experiences and director of the Innovation News Center (INC), will be departing to become Dean of the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication at Florida A&am

Florida was going to be a beacon of criminal justice transparency. Instead, it's almost 3 years behind schedule. • The Tributary 08/24/2021

Florida was going to be a beacon of criminal justice transparency. Instead, it's almost 3 years behind schedule. • The Tributary

Florida was going to be a beacon of criminal justice transparency. Instead, it’s almost 3 years behind schedule. https://jaxtrib.org/2021/08/24/florida-was-going-to-be-a-beacon-of-criminal-justice-transparency-instead-its-almost-3-years-behind-schedule/

Florida was going to be a beacon of criminal justice transparency. Instead, it's almost 3 years behind schedule. • The Tributary The ACLU of Florida has filed suit against FDLE in the hopes that a judge will force the agency, along with all the other agencies involved, to finally comply with a 2018 transparency law.

Facing revolt from police chiefs, U.S. Marshals agree to change body camera rules 08/24/2021

Facing revolt from police chiefs, U.S. Marshals agree to change body camera rules

"The Justice Department has agreed for the first time to allow local police assigned to federal fugitive task forces to release body camera video to the public after officer-involved shootings."

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/facing-revolt-police-chiefs-u-s-marshals-agree-change-body-n1277029

Facing revolt from police chiefs, U.S. Marshals agree to change body camera rules The shift highlights the willingness of local law enforcement officials to stand up to federal authorities in an era of police reform.

Escambia County Commissioners want better data on COVID-19 deaths 08/23/2021

Escambia County Commissioners want better data on COVID-19 deaths

Escambia county commissioners and public safety director call for better data on COVID-19 deaths.

"Since the outbreak of the virus, 42,252 people have died in Florida. On Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported 346 new deaths across the state.

However, the state has not released a breakdown of where those deaths took place since early June and before the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus caused a huge upswing in infections."

https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2021/08/21/escambia-county-commissioners-want-better-data-covid-19-deaths/8195491002/?utm_source=pnj-Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_briefing&utm_term=hero&utm_content=1063NJ-E-NLETTER65

Escambia County Commissioners want better data on COVID-19 deaths Escambia County Commissioners want better data from the state on the numbers of COVID-19 deaths as the number of hospitalizations is at all-time high.

'Wise and visionary': Retired Tallahassee Democrat publisher Carrol Dadisman dies at 87 08/23/2021

'Wise and visionary': Retired Tallahassee Democrat publisher Carrol Dadisman dies at 87

Florida has lost a First Amendment advocate. Carrol Dadisman was a strong supporter of open government. He will be missed.

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/local/2021/08/19/retired-tallahassee-democrat-publisher-carrol-dadisman-dies-87/8195282002/.

'Wise and visionary': Retired Tallahassee Democrat publisher Carrol Dadisman dies at 87 The former publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat died Thursday at his home.

AP urges DeSantis to end harassing tweets aimed at reporter 08/20/2021

AP urges DeSantis to end harassing tweets aimed at reporter

FAF stands with the AP and calls for Gov. DeSantis to end harassing behavior of his press secretary. Threatening tweets are dangerous and counter to Florida's constitutional protections for a free press.
https://apnews.com/article/business-health-arts-and-entertainment-coronavirus-pandemic-philanthropy-ae3f2d37495c5a1d6c7eb2e18f825b26

AP urges DeSantis to end harassing tweets aimed at reporter NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press called on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to end “harassing behavior” by one of his press aides against an AP reporter who received threats and other online abuse. Incoming AP CEO Daisy Veerasingham sent a letter Friday to DeSantis protesting tweets by press secr...

‘It’s cost us hell’: Artiles had his hands in second Miami Senate race, records show 08/20/2021

‘It’s cost us hell’: Artiles had his hands in second Miami Senate race, records show

Court records reveal Artiles had his hands in second state Senate race. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article253610583.html

‘It’s cost us hell’: Artiles had his hands in second Miami Senate race, records show The former Miami Republican senator who recruited an acquaintance to run in Miami-Dade’s Senate District 37 race was simultaneously guiding another spoiler no-party candidate in Senate District 39.

Judge won't close hearings in Florida school shooting case 08/18/2021

Judge won't close hearings in Florida school shooting case

Pretrial hearings in the Parkland school shooting case must be open to the public and the press. FAF was part of a media coalition arguing for public access to the proceedings. This ruling affirms Florida's longstanding presumption of open court proceedings and records in cases of public importance. https://apnews.com/article/health-shootings-florida-coronavirus-pandemic-school-shootings-8e3ba1ab309550c0e0e79c981570053c.

Judge won't close hearings in Florida school shooting case ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge refused Tuesday to close pretrial hearings to the media and public in the case of the man accused of killing 17 people in a 2018 high school mass shooting.

Two months later, finding Florida COVID data by county can be frustrating — but possible 08/16/2021

Two months later, finding Florida COVID data by county can be frustrating — but possible

Two months later, finding Florida COVID data by county can be frustrating — but possible. https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/local/state/2021/08/13/floridas-covid-numbers-cases-data-difficult-but-not-impossible-find-heres-how/8099274002/?utm_source=tallahassee-Daily%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_briefing&utm_term=hero&utm_content=1558TD-E-NLETTER65

Two months later, finding Florida COVID data by county can be frustrating — but possible There's data the state had been reporting up till a couple of months ago. Here's where the public can find that information now.

08/10/2021

Thank you for your donations! There is still time to contribute and help sustain Florida's long tradition of open government. Together, we can educate the next generation on their right to know and participate in government. https://mtyc.co/3emqcg

Is This Man Serving a Life Sentence Because of a Mistaken Identity? 08/09/2021

Is This Man Serving a Life Sentence Because of a Mistaken Identity?

Did Florida send a man to prison for life based on a mistaken identity? A reporter spent a year investigating and sending public records requests to find out. After not hearing from a law enforcement agency, Tristram cited court cases identified by FAF on delaying public records requests -- and police provided the records within two days. Access to records -- and timely access -- is essential to law enforcement accountability.

https://www.gq.com/story/thomas-james-tragic-murder-case.

Is This Man Serving a Life Sentence Because of a Mistaken Identity? Thomas James was put away for life after being confused with somebody who shares his name. So why, despite unraveling the mystery that sent him to jail and tracking down the suspect that cops never could, is he still behind bars?

08/09/2021

It's not too late to contribute to FAF's A Community Thrives campaign and help us expand our internship program and educational resources! https://mtyc.co/j5xmaf.

08/06/2021

There is still time to contribute to FAF's A Community Thrive campaign! The organizations that receive the most unique donors will get an extra $4,000. This challenge lasts until Monday afternoon. A contribution of $5 counts as a unique donor. Support FAF and our goal to expand our internship program! https://mtyc.co/j5xmaf

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1700 N. Monroe Street, Suite 11/140
Tallahassee, FL
32303

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Foundation for Florida's Future Foundation for Florida's Future
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Home Education Foundation Home Education Foundation
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Florida's home educators' voice at the Capitol - Home education lobbyist. - Florida home education l

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Good Neighborhood Public Schools Good Neighborhood Public Schools
Tallahassee, 32301

Working together to stop the attacks on Florida's neighborhood public schools!

Peterson's Martial Arts - Tallahassee Peterson's Martial Arts - Tallahassee
4697 NMonroe Street
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Tang Soo Do Tallahassee

Florida Association for the Education of Young Children Florida Association for the Education of Young Children
3551 Blairstone Road, Suite 105/133
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Childbirth Educators Of Tallahassee Childbirth Educators Of Tallahassee
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Childbirth Education Classes in partnership with North Florida Women's Care

Florida Society of Association Executives Florida Society of Association Executives
2410 Mahan Drive, Ste 2
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Welcome to this exciting opportunity to network with other association professionals in our industry. We encourage you to become a FAN!

College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture
Fla. A&M University/217 Perry Paige Building
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The College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture, known as CESTA is an academic compo

Florida History Day Florida History Day
500 South Bronough Street
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2023 state contest is May 7-9 Student check in- May 7 at Tallahassee Community College Judging- May 8

Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association
2868 Mahan Drive, Ste 1
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www.fadaa.org