A note from CFOG’s new president Kate Farrish!

It was a tremendous honor in June when I was elected as president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government, succeeding attorney William S. Fish, Jr. Bill did a commendable job leading our organization in its mission of educating the public about the importance of transparent and open government. As I welcome you to the latest CFOG newsletter, I wanted to let you know a little bit about myself.

I am an assistant professor of journalism at Central Connecticut State University, where I teach news writing, covering state and local government and editing. Previously, I spent 23 years as a reporter and editor for the Hartford Courant, a decade teaching journalism part time at the University of Connecticut and 11 years as a contributing writer for the Connecticut Health Investigative Team.

I also worked several election cycles or the Associated Press, sending reporters to every town and city in Connecticut and Rhode Island to obtain vote totals on Election Night. That made for many long, but exciting nights of work.

Supporting CFOG’s work is a natural fit for me because I’ve spent decades covering state and local government and taking my role as a government watchdog seriously. I’ve used the state Freedom of Information Act to gain access to public meetings and public records, and now, I weave lessons about freedom of information into every course I teach.

Government transparency and educating the public about how they can use the FOI law is more important than ever in 2023 as our nation faces a divided populace and threats to our democratic institutions. I hope you will join me in supporting the work of CFOG by attending our programs and sending us suggestions for how we can better educate Connecticut residents on the importance of open government.

I look forward to seeing you on Nov. 16 when we honor the latest winners of the Mitch Pearlman FOI Award in Hartford.