To all our supporters and friends:
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, I’ll be retiring from the Foundation at the end of this year. It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since Pete Weitzel, former managing editor of the Miami Herald and FAF founder, hired me as the Foundation’s director.
Looking back over my years at FAF, I’m filled with gratitude for the support we’ve received from folks all over Florida. When Pete offered me the job in 1995, the FAF consisted of an office, a telephone, and a computer, and although our resources were thin, I knew that I had just been given the opportunity of a lifetime. I have a deep and abiding passion for government transparency, knowing that citizen access to government information is essential to the health and stability of a democratic society.
The First Amendment Foundation is the only organization in Florida that focuses all its energy and resources on protecting the public’s right to oversee its government and hold it accountable for its actions. Of course, that effort requires the continued vigilance of hundreds of people across the state —reporters, editors, citizens, public officials, and government employees — who work hard to make sure our government remains open and accessible to its people.
It’s been an honor to serve as the president of the First Amendment Foundation for the past 25 years, and it’s been a privilege to work with so many people so devoted to ensuring our government remains in the sunshine. Our work is far from done, though, and we all must work with you, there for all to see and participate in, a standard we all must be willing to continue the fight into the future.
I am so thankful for your support of the Foundation and I ask that everyone who shares my passion to continue to support the Foundation as it continues its important work on behalf of all Floridians. I don’t like good-byes, but I hope you will join me in Tallahassee on Thursday, October 17 at the FSU Law School to celebrate my retirement and the lead-in to FAF’s 35th year.
Barbara Petersen, President, First Amendment Foundation