By Gary Gold
President, Connecticut Foundation for Open Government
Since my initial report last spring the Foundation has engaged in a number of activities concerning open government. On June 4, 2015 we held our annual meeting, at which time the directors, officers, certain committee members, counsel and the executive director took office. A lively discussion about new initiatives occurred. Thereafter, I appointed the members and temporary chairs of our standing committees. Each committee has met since then in furtherance of our goals.
In September and December, I wrote to all CFOG members to renew their memberships and to generously support the Foundation. In October, Mitch Pearlman and I attended the annual NFOIC Summit in Denver. It was a great learning experience for me and a chance for Mitch to network and gather ideas for the above new initiatives- also the subject of the special committee chaired by him.
Also in October, we held our sixth Walter Cronkite Award dinner, at which time we honored a true champion of open government- America’s leading First Amendment lawyer, Floyd Abrams. The dinner was ably helmed by Denis Horgan, and a report on the proceedings can be found elsewhere in these pages. Concomitantly, we co-sponsored a panel discussion the next day at Quinnipiac Law School, featuring Abrams and other FOI experts.
The New Initiatives Committee has met a number of times and is in the process of developing a program (along with other concerned Connecticut organizations) relating to First Amendment issues in schools and on campuses.
Our Program Committee, headed by Catie Talarski, is putting the final touches on a symposium to be held on the evening of March 22, 2016 at the Lyceum in Hartford on the subject of the UConn Foundation and open government, which will be the topic of vigorous debate in the General Assembly during this and subsequent legislative sessions.
Our Marketing and Communications Committee, chaired by Vice President Bernard Kavaler, has worked hard to publish this edition of our newsletter, and Mary Connolly has been proceeding apace with this year’s high school essay contest, as to which entries are due by March 31, 2016.
In conclusion, let me note that it is my honor to foster the ideal of open government in our State, and I would like very much to hear from you about it. Call me at 860 563-7033 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.