Key Award Winner Mike Baker

Journalist Mike Baker was curious about the way things operate in Olympia and he successfully used the state’s Public Records Act to shine a light on the ties lobbyists have to lawmakers and the lavish gifts and perks lobbyists bestow on our state legislators.

Keeping government open and accessible is the cornerstone of our democracy. The Washington Coalition for Open Government is the public’s advocate for open government and transparency in Olympia. Please donate today so WCOG can continue to recognize journalists like Mike Baker with our Key Awards. READ MORE >

Transparency and public participation are building blocks of good government.

The Coalition was formed to act as an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated promoting and defending the People's right to know in matters of public interest and in the conduct of the public's business. The Coalition's driving vision is to help foster open government processes, supervised by an informed and engaged citizenry, which is the cornerstone of democracy.

Featured News

Mayor Murray should have let sun shine on housing meetings

The Seattle Times: July 31, 2015
By: Danny Westneat

Now that a big part of Mayor Ed Murray’s housing and zoning plan has blown up, it’s worth asking: What went wrong? The mayor is blaming the media. For whipping up a frenzy that he feels wasn’t based on facts. Read More>> READ MORE >

Federal lawsuit accuses Pierce prosecutor Lindquist and staffer of deceiving courts

The News Tribune: July 28, 2015
By: Sean Robinson

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist faces a federal lawsuit that accuses him of directing a staff member to file false declarations in court, withhold evidence and abuse the legal process. The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, names Lindquist and deputy prosecutor Jared... READ MORE >

Abusive use takes down part of Yakima’s records site, city says

Yakima Herald: July 18, 2015
By: Mike Faulk

YAKIMA, Wash. — A records-tracking website intended to promote transparency in Yakima city government by making records quickly available online is now being reined in over what city officials call abusive use. In support of their decision Friday, city officials cite an enormous increase in the number... READ MORE >

Not Olympia’s finest hour for government transparency

Washington Policy Center: June 30, 2015
By: Jason Mercier

It is wonderful news the state won’t be facing a government shutdown and that a major transportation investment package with good reforms is moving forward but the last week, the past 72 hrs in particular, have been very embarrassing for the cause of an open and... READ MORE >

New Amendments to the Public Records Act

MRSC: June 10, 2015
By: Paul Sullivan

The 2015 Legislature passed and the Governor signed five bills amending the Public Records Act (PRA) that affect local government public records procedures. These amendments go into effect on July 24, 2015. Read More>> READ MORE >

Patience Rogge, noted Jefferson County historian and open-meetings champion, dies at 78

Peninsula Daily News: May 26, 2015
By: Arwyn Rice

PORT TOWNSEND — Patience Rogge, 78, a noted community volunteer and long-time resident, has died. Rogge was admitted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on May 14 for treatment of an illness and died there Saturday, a Harborview spokeswoman confirmed. She is survived by her husband,... READ MORE >

Editorial: Labor talks bill would allow public to weigh in

The Spokesman-Review: May 24, 2015

A better-late-than-never bill to bring transparency to state labor negotiations was introduced last week, and could help break the deadlock over whether contracts bargained last year will be funded this year. About two dozen employee contracts that would cost nearly $600 million were included in the governor’s budget for the 2015-17... READ MORE >

Kennewick Irrigation District customers to move to mandatory watering schedule

Tri-City Herald: May 19, 2015
By: Kristi Pihl

A worsening Yakima Basin drought means Kennewick Irrigation District customers will have to limit water use starting May 31. KID’s board of directors unanimously approved a mandatory, enforced watering schedule for customers on Tuesday. The district already was asking customers to limit watering to two times a... READ MORE >

Culture of secrecy shrouds Port of Vancouver

The Columbian: May 17, 2015
By: Aaron Corvin

The Port of Vancouver is a government body that’s beholden to its voters and taxpayers. Yet its elected officials embrace a culture of secrecy, meeting behind closed doors “about 95 percent of the time,” as one commissioner put it in a court deposition, and making decisions inside... READ MORE >

Downside of Police Body Cameras: Your Arrest Hits YouTube

The Seattle Times: April 26, 2015
By: Timothy Williams

Police departments around the country have been moving with unusual speed to equip officers with body cameras to film their often edgy encounters with the public. But the adoption of these cameras has created a new conflict over who has the right to view the recordings.... READ MORE >

UW broke state open-meetings law 24 times, judge rules

The Seattle Times: April 24, 2015
By: Katherine Long

The University of Washington’s governing board violated the state’s Open Public Meetings Act on 24 separate occasions in 2012, 2013 and 2014, when its members discussed business over dinner at the UW president’s home, a King County Superior Court judge has ruled. The judge’s ruling won’t... READ MORE >

Seattle Police Will Hire Programmer and Prolific Records Requester Tim Clemans

The Stranger: April 20, 2015
By: Ansel Herz

The Seattle Police Department is taking the unconventional step of bringing a programmer who bombarded it with public records requests in-house. Chief Operating Officer Mike Wagers has led efforts to hire 24-year-old self-taught programmer Tim Clemans—initially, at least, on a three-month trial basis to work on redaction... READ MORE >

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