2016 Scott Johnson Essay Contest Winner – Kaitlin Christensen

The winner of the 2016 Scott Johnson essay contest, Kaitlin Christensen, is a running start student at Graham Kapowsin High School, also attending Pierce College, where she will study in the fall. She was presented her award during a tour of The News Tribune in Tacoma by editor and WCOG Board member Karen Peterson. This year's essay contest topic was “Police body cams, dash cams, and a camera on every street corner: An Invasion of Privacy or a Needed Step Toward Accountability and Safety?” To read her essay click: 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

$503K in fines upheld against L&I for delaying release of lead-poisoning records to Times

The Seattle Times: March 25,2016
By: Lewis Kamb

Washington’s Supreme Court has upheld nearly $503,000 in fines against the state’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) for improperly delaying the release of more than 5,400 pages of public records to The Seattle Times. Read More>> READ MORE >

Washington Legislature passes bill on police body cameras

The Seattle Times: March 8,2016
By: The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — The Legislature has passed a bill that seeks to keep police body-camera videos available to the public while limiting broad requests for the footage. Read More>> READ MORE >

WaLeg Day 58: Police body cam bill passes

The Spokesman-Review: March 8,2016
By: Jim Camden

OLYMPIA – Cities and towns would be encouraged, but not required, to authorize their police officers to use body cameras, under a bill that received final approval Tuesday in the House.  Read More>> READ MORE >

With no watchdog media, Kent made hush-hush sale of public park

The Seattle Times: March 4,2016
By: Danny Westneat

Kent now is backtracking on selling off a city park to be bulldozed by a developer. But how did the sale happen in the first place, with nobody knowing? Read More>> READ MORE >

Emails suggest UW regents decided on new president days before public vote

The Seattle Times: February 28,2016
By: Lewis Kamb

The chairman of the University of Washington’s Board of Regents and other key officials communicated as if they knew Ana Mari Cauce would be named the university’s president days before the board publicly voted to appoint her last October, emails and other records show. Read More>> READ MORE >

Don’t mess with Public Records Act

The Seattle Times: February 28,2016
By: Seattle Times editorial board

THE state Public Records Act is the sharpest tool citizens have to monitor their government. Its fierce preamble, “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them,” sends an unambiguous message to public agencies. And if that’s not enough,... READ MORE >

Fine-tune, but don’t overhaul state Public Records Act

The Seattle Times: February 18,2016
By: Katherine George and George Erb

AS the voters said when adopting the Public Records Act in 1972: “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them.” The people use public records to learn what their government is up to, so they can maintain control.... READ MORE >

Long-held Lindquist text told employee to arrange comments on TNT story

The News Tribune: January 5, 2016
By: Sean Robinson

or four years, in a legal fight that climbed to the Washington State Supreme Court and back, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist has insisted that a text message he wrote in 2011 to one of his employees had nothing to do with public business…   READ MORE >

Navy sues Kitsap County to stop release of emergency plans

The Seattle Times: December 16, 2015
By: The Associated Press

BANGOR — The Navy is suing Kitsap County to try to stop it from releasing Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor emergency plans. The Kitsap Sun reports that the Navy filed the complaint Monday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. The court on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining... READ MORE >

State disclosure watchdog sues Lindquist’s office

The News Tribune: December 16, 2015
By: By Sean Robinson

Add the state’s biggest public disclosure watchdog to the chorus of litigants taking aim at Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist’s office. The nonprofit Washington Coalition for Open Government filed suit Monday against Pierce County, accusing Lindquist and his staff of violating the state’s public disclosure... READ MORE >

State gave Boeing a free pass on $19.5M in sales tax

The Seattle Times: November 29, 2015
By Jim Brunner

Two years ago, state politicians approved a record-setting set of tax breaks to keep Boeing building jets in Everett. Now, thanks to a tax-transparency provision that passed the same year, the precise value of one piece of the tax-break package to the company is becoming public.... READ MORE >

Lindquist gives up appeal of vindictiveness ruling

The News Tribune: November 24, 2015
By: Sean Robinson

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist’s office has given up the fight against a judge’s March 31 finding of prosecutorial vindictiveness in a long-running sex-abuse case. The decision, a motion filed Monday with the Washington State Court of Appeals, withdraws the prosecutor’s appeal of a lower court’s... READ MORE >

Governor Inslee receives open government award

Washington Policy Center: October 22, 2015
By: Jason Mercier

Earlier this month the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awarded Governor Inslee with its Walter C. Woodward Freedom’s Light Award. This award recognizes commitment to open government and freedom of the press. Read More>> READ MORE >

UW can’t continue to skirt open-meeting law

The Seattle Times: October 23, 2015
By: Seattle Times editorial board

ANY violation of Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act by a governmental board or council is unacceptable — it is an attempt to keep the people’s business secret. Yet the University of Washington’s Board of Regents has shown a consistent pattern of making decisions in... READ MORE >

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