The First Amendment Foundation is a highly visible and accessible source of authoritative information, expertise and assistance to the public and news media. Founded as a non-profit organization in 1984 by The Florida Press Association, the Florida Society of Newspapers Editors and the Florida Association of Broadcasters to ensure that public commitment and progress in the areas of free speech, free press, and open government do not become checked and diluted during Florida’s changing times.
“Florida’s Sunshine Laws guarantee our right to open government, but government officials can get downright creative to keep their decision-making in the dark. Like the state agency that demanded $3,200 to copy a single page of a public record, or the city commissioner who accidentally dropped her government phone in the toilet after a reporter asked her to see her text messages. And of course, you, the taxpayer footed the $1.3 million legal tab to keep our Governor and his cabinet out of court over secret emails. Fortunately, we have the Florida First Amendment Foundation fighting on our side. I urge you to support the First Amendment Foundation and keep Florida government by the people, for the people and in the Sunshine.”
—Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald columnist and author of Skin Tight, Strip Tease, Skinny Dip, Nature Girl, Star Island,Bad Monkey, Razor Girl and many more.
The purpose of the First Amendment Foundation is to protect and advance the public’s constitutional right to open government by providing education and training, legal aid and information services. Funding is based on voluntary contributions from various organizations and concerned individuals.
“You know, the critical research of my book would not have been possible without access granted by law via Florida’s longstanding Open Government laws. Without Sunshine, stories like the injustice I uncovered in Central Florida could not have come forward. The Florida First Amendment Foundation has been protecting your citizen right to know for the past 31 years. Support the First Amendment Foundation. Support Open Government. It pays dividends.”
–Gilbert King, February 2016. Pulitzer Prize winning author of Devil in the Grove Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
Our actions get results. In the past year, we led a broad coalition of open government advocates and defeated a bill that would have made it harder to hold agencies accountable for public records violations. In dozens of courthouses and government offices around the country, citizens – with FAF’s help – won access to the records and meetings.
Still, our job has never been more challenging and, with your help, we will continue to fight efforts to erode Florida’s long-standing tradition of open government.