Annual Report for 2012
Authored by Toby Nixon, WCOG President
Washington Coalition for Open Government, the leading advocate for the people’s right to access government information in Washington, had another very impressive year in 2012:
- We fought hard in the courts to preserve access to public records, and filed amicus briefs in a dozen cases in Washington’s appellate courts (see pages 6, 7, and 8 for these and other important legal actions);
- We tracked over 65 bills in the state legislature (including 35 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 third annual Washington State Open Government Conference; seven new Open Government Forums throughout Washington; a debate of the candidates for Attorney General, offered in conjunction with The Seattle Times; 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 Washingto
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.
Dues-paying membership in the Coalition increased only slightly from 212 at the end of 2011 to 214 at the end of 2012, but the number of individuals and organizations making significant contributions in the higher sponsorship levels grew. The number of individuals signed up for the free “Citizen’s Network” email list increased from 572 to 695, and the number of individuals who became “fans” of our Facebook page grew to 500.