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.
Its purpose 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.
With the support of members and donors like you, the First Amendment Foundation is able to:
- Operate a toll-free hotline available to anyone with a question about Florida’s open government laws. Give us a call: (800) 337-3518.
- Track legislation in Tallahassee and fight efforts to make government less transparent.
- Enlist a team of attorneys offering largely pro bono services to aggressively go after government agencies that block or stall legitimate access to information.
- Conduct Sunshine Seminars across the state, training hundreds of public officials, journalists, attorneys, and concerned citizens each year on Florida’s public records and open meetings laws.
- Publish the Government in the Sunshine Manual and Pocket Guides each year so everyone can have the most up to date Sunshine Law changes at their fingertips.
- And just this year we launched an online training program, the Sunshine Certificate Training Program, in partnership with the Poynter Institute – now open government is everyone’s business.
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.