Don Gemberling on Government Info

Nov 20, 2009 | No Comments

Thanks to Don Gemberling for sending us a series of articles that were originally published on the Pioneer Press:

  • A Price Of Ignorance In Minnesota – State Open-Government Law Loses Strength If Citizens Don’t Know It
  • Sunshine Week – Accountable Government Requires Accessible Information
  • Your Government, Your Information – A Quick Guide To Minnesota’s Open-Government Laws
  • Open Government – Citizen Sunshine
  • Proposed Changes To Data Practices Shelved – More Could Have Been Kept From Public

Read the articles

Minnesota’s data practices law – a look to the future

Oct 12, 2009 | No Comments

COGI-tations: A program of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 – Event Photos
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Midtown Commons, 2324 University Ave West, St. Paul (just East of Raymond)
Women Venture meeting room
Free and convenient parking West of the Midtown Commons complex.

An open discussion of changing needs, many the result of technology. A chance to review the principles that undergird the state’s unique data practices law. Come prepared to share issues, experience, a vision of future challenges and practical suggestions for needed change.

Resource people, on hand to provide context and answer questions, include John R. Finnegan, Sr, Jane Kirtley, Kirsten Clark, Don Gemberling
& other members of the MnCOGI Board.

Learn more:

The Public’s Business: More People Are Knocking at the Door – Let Them In, by Jane Kirtley, 3/15/2009*.

Our Open-Government Laws Need to be Stronger and Clearer, by Jane Kirtley, 6/5/2009*.

* Articles posted with permission of the author, Jane Kirtley, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

COGI-tations are public forums sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information.All COGI-tations are free and open to the public.

International Right to Know — COGI-tations Presenter Notes

Sep 19, 2009 | No Comments

September 10, 2009, COGI-tations Forum
The right to ask…the right to know
Notes.pdf from presenter, Barb Frey

Sep 1, 2009 | No Comments

The right to ask…the right to know:
International Right to Know Day 2009
COGI-tations: A program of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Featuring: Barbara A. Frey
Director of the Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts University of Minnesota

Thursday, September 10, 2009
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Midtown Commons, 2324 University Ave West, St. Paul (just East of Raymond)
Women Venture meeting room

COGI-tations are public forums sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information.All COGI-tations are free and open to the public.

Background Information

Barbara A Frey is Director of the Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. The Program, established in 2001, provides academic, research and internship opportunities for students in the field of international human rights.

Frey is well known as an international human rights teacher, advocate and scholar. She served from 2000-2003 as an alternate member of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a body of independent experts who advise the United Nations on human rights policy. From 2002-2006 Frey served as Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission to conduct a study on the issue of preventing human rights abuses committed with small arms and light weapons. From 1985 through 1996 Frey was Executive Director of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. She is a co-convenor of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, a network of 44 organizations working to promote research and advocacy on human rights issues.

Frey is the recipient of the 2008 Don and Arvonne Fraser Award from the Advocates for Human Rights. She received the 2008 Outstanding Faculty Community Service Award from the University of Minnesota. She received the first Iustitia et Lex award from the University of St. Thomas Law School in 2003. She was named the 2001 Myra Bradwell Award winner by Minnesota Women Lawyers for promoting the interests of women in the legal profession and in the community. She is the immediate past Chair of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Committee on Foreign Relations. Frey attended the University of Notre Dame (BA, 1978) and the University of Wisconsin Law School (JD, 1982). She worked as an associate lawyer at Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis from 1983-85.

***
International Right to Know Day
is celebrated each year on September 28. Increasingly the issue of the right to know as a basic human right is on the public agenda. Come learn more about plans, gather materials, and explore ways in which Minnesotans can participate in the celebration.

New technology; the same laws apply

Aug 3, 2009 | No Comments

An article in the August State News magazine focuses on social media in government, “The New Public Sphere.” It includes a reminder section — “Old Rules, New Media Open Records Laws Apply to Government Business, Regardless of Outlet.”

Minnesota’s Government Data Practices Act: A Primer

Jul 16, 2009 | No Comments

COGI-tations: A program of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Minnesota’s Government Data Practices Act : A Primer
Hint: It’s Not as Complicated As You Think!

Presenter: Don Gemberling – “Godfather” of Minnesota data practices

Minnesota’s data practices law is based upon openness to information by and about state and local government. Advocacy groups, citizen journalists, concerned citizens, bloggers and all concerned about access to government activities need to know their rights. Elected and appointed officials need to understand their responsibility to assure access. Don Gemberling knows the law and can clarify it for those who may be intimidated, confused or overwhelmed by a straightforward law based in the assumption of transparency. Attendees are encouraged to bring their government information horror stories for analysis and feedback.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Midtown Commons, 2324 University Ave West, St. Paul
(just East of Raymond)
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits conference room, Suite 20

COGI-tations are public forums sponsored by the
Minnesota Coalition on Government Information.
All COGI-tations are free and open to the public.

Planning MnCOGI’s Transparency Inventory

Jun 8, 2009 | No Comments

COGI-tations: A program of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Planning MnCOGI’s Transparency Inventory moderated by Allan Malkis, Board member, Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Looking to hold a government agency accountable for the action it takes?
Discuss how to conduct an inventory of a state or local agency’s actions.

Thursday, June 25, 2009
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
East Lake Library
2727 Lake Street (near Hiawatha)
Minneapolis

* * * *

Future COGI-tations

August 5, 2009
Don Gemberling
Introduction to Minnesota’s Data Practices Act

Late August/Early September, 2009
International Right to Know Day

COGI-tations are public forums sponsored by the
Minnesota Coalition on Government Information.
All COGI-tations are free and open to the public.

Missed the weekend? Catch the action!

Jun 8, 2009 | No Comments

Extraordinary thanks are due to the staff of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and to our own transparency team at The Uptake for brilliant coverage of the NFOIC Summit held in Minneapolis this past weekend. The Summit concluded late Saturday. In nanoseconds the text summaries and videos were posted on the web.

Attached is a program for the conference that may help readers follow and link to the big picture. Following are the sessions summaries accompanied by great photos.

· NFOIC Summit: Civics education
· NFOIC Summit: Fiscal transparency
· NFOIC Summit: Texts, Lies and Video Tape
· Mitchell Pearlman honored at NFOIC Summit
· NFOIC Summit: Infrastructure coverage tips
· NFOIC Summit: FOI & Infrastructure
· Judge rules media have no more rights than general…
· NFOIC Summit: Technologies you should be using
· NFOIC Summit: Coalition Sustainability
· NFOIC Summit: Arizona FOI roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Delaware FOI roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Kentucky FOIA roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Missouri FOI roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Oklahoma FOI roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Wisconsin FOIA roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Florida FOIA roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Minnesota FOIA roundup
· NFOIC Summit: Public access values
· NFOIC Summit: Public access threats

For those with a preference for video, we offer The Uptake take on the Summit. The Uptake livestreamed the Summit, thus reaching the many “regulars” whose budget cuts prevented travel to the City of Lakes. As always, there are some video glitches, but the audio is clear throughout. Keep checking TheUptake, too – there’s much more to come!

Many thanks to the several journalists, professional and citizen, who captured the moment. As one who spent a good portion of the Summit keep abreast of activities outside the sessions, I am particularly grateful for the virtual experience. After a Sunday of reading, viewing and listening, I feel as if I actually participated in the group experience. MT.