Annual Report for 2011
Authored by Toby Nixon, WCOG President
Washington Coalition for Open Government, the leading protector of open government in Washington, had another very impressive year in 2011:
- We fought hard in the courts to preserve access to public records, including winning a landmark 8-1 decision in the U.S. Supreme Court preserving open government and the peoples' right to know, and filed amicus briefs in nearly a dozen cases in Washington's appellate courts (see page 6 and 7 for these and other important legal actions);
- We tracked over 80 bills in the state legislature (including 42 high priority bills) and won significant legislative victories in the face of misguided efforts to limit the access to government and the people's right to know (see pages 4 and 5);
- We expanded public outreach with our second annual Washington State Open Government Conference; six new Open Government Forums throughout Washington; many speaking engagements at events throughout the state; (see pages 2 and 3); and,
- We added impressive new talent to our efforts to protect and enhance open government efforts in Washington, and created two new committees and updated our committee structure (see below).
Dues-paying membership in the Coalition increased from 200 at the end of 2010 to 212 at the end of 2011, and the number of individuals and organizations making significant contributions in the higher sponsorship levels grew as well. The number of individuals signed up for the free "Citizen's Network" email list increased from 488 to 572, and the number of individuals who became "fans" of our Facebook page grew to over 400. The number of individuals and government officials seeking advice from the Coalition on open government issues continued to increase, and we expanded our direct intervention to influence the behavior of government agencies by sending more letters and making personal visits. The Coalition's respect and influence continued to grow, evidenced by the mobilization of organizations representing government agencies to attempt to counter our efforts and make it more difficult for the public to know what the government is doing.