Newsletter October 2018.

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Washington Coalition for Open Government Presents 2018 Madison Andersen Bunting Awards

The Washington Coalition for Open Government honored activists and journalists at its Madison Andersen Bunting Awards event Sept. 21 in Seattle, recognizing the successful effort to prevent the state legislature from exempting itself from access laws. Honorees included the people of Washington who struck a blow for transparency by rising up against SB 6617 last spring.
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Western Washington University Student Journalists Receive Key Award

Two collegiate journalists were recently honored by the Washington Coalition for Open Government for their use of the state Public Records Act and their dogged investigation of their university’s handling of complaints of sexual assault and sexual harassment. WCOG is recognizing Asia Fields and Erasmus Baxter for their reporting for student publications at Western Washington University, published during the 2017-18 academic year.
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Legislative Task Force Convenes on Public Records Issues

Washington Coalition for Open Government President Toby Nixon was appointed to the 15-member Legislative Task Force on Public Records, which is charged with examining and potentially drafting relevant legislation before the 2019 session. The task force itself was a result of the legislature’s short-lived attempt during the 2018 session to exempt itself from the PRA and establish its own rules for access, under Senate Bill 6617.
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FOI Summit 2018 meets in Cincinnati

The National Freedom of Information Coalition gathered about 50 open government enthusiasts, including activists, journalists, educators and members of coalitions like WCOG, to its annual conference in Cincinnati Sept. 22. Sessions covered such issues as trends in fees for record retrieval and copying, particular challenges of law enforcement and criminal justice records, alternative methods of appeals and technology to promote open data.
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