Overview

Open Oregon: A Freedom of Information Coalition
Dedicated to educating Oregonians on their rights to open government


Open Oregon is an educational and charitable organization with a single mission: to assist and educate the general public, students, educators, public officials, media and legal professionals to understand and exercise:

  • Their rights to open government.
  • Their rights and responsibilities under the Oregon Public Meetings and Records laws.

Purpose

“Information is power. Keeping meetings and records open empowers citizens.” Phil Keisling Former Secretary of State and Open Oregon Board memberLaws guaranteeing open government were enacted nationwide in the 1970s. Oregon’s pioneering ‘sunshine’ legislation in 1973 was part of Gov. Tom McCall’s legacy to Oregon citizens. Many citizens don’t know they have a right to open government and some elected officials and government employees mistakenly withhold information from the public or conduct public business in secret. Open Oregon represents a coalition of Oregonians who believe that the best way to have a responsible and trusted government is to make sure their government operates openly.

Activities

Open Oregon has produced two booklets: A Quick Reference Guide to Oregon’s Public Meetings Law and A Quick Reference Guide to Oregon’s Public Records Law that are directed to state and local government officials, elected community leaders, citizens and civic groups.

“I’m happy to support Open Oregon. Oregon needs to protect  its tradition of openness.” Dave FrohnmayerOpen Oregon conducts seminars and educational workshops, acts as a clearinghouse to document public meetings and records law abuses by government, conducts independent research on Oregonians’ access to their government.

A National Network

Open Oregon is a member of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and joins many other state organizations that have been formed to promote open government and freedom of information throughout the United States.

Open Oregon Receives Knight Foundation Grants

Since 1995, Open Oregon has received about $26,000 in awards from the National Freedom of Information Coalition through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. These grants have been used to two quick reference guides to Oregon’s public meetings and records laws for use by citizens and government officials and to create and upgrade a web site. The guides are available at no charge, except for shipping large quantities.

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