Join Us and FOIA on the Fourth

The public’s right to know is at the heart of the United States’ founding. Without knowledge of government practice, how can there be public debate? Without transparency, how can there be informed dissent?

On the Fourth of July we celebrate the independence of the United States, and the 1966 signing of the Freedom of Information Act. Before the fireworks burst this Fourth of July, we’ll be wielding one of the most powerful tools available to the public. Will you join us?

The public’s right to know is at the heart of the United States’ founding. Without knowledge of government practice, how can there be public debate? Without transparency, how can there be informed dissent?

On the Fourth of July we celebrate the independence of the United States, and the 1966 signing of the Freedom of Information Act. Before the fireworks burst this Fourth of July, we’ll be wielding one of the most powerful tools available to the public. Will you join us?

Your right to know goes beyond the federal law. When it comes to public safety and the government information affecting your backyard, oftentimes state and local information laws are the most important. Not sure what to file for? Take an idea from our friends at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and use their letter generator to file your FOIA! 

Buying a New Home? Moving to a New Town? FOIA:

Police incident reports, school performance reports, teacher certifications, school incident reports, real estate sales records, flood maps, zoning maps, water and air quality reports, and intersection accident records.

Have a Child in Day Care, or a Parent in Senior Care? FOIA:

Safety and incident records, the license status and history of the facilities, court records to see if the entity has ever been sued, or even administrative penalty records or records regarding employee certifications, competence, and criminal background.
 

Need a new doctor, lawyer, or contractor? FOIA:

Their license status, consumer complaint history, or information of lawsuits. 

Have a Favorite Restaurant in Town? FOIA:

Their food, health, and safety inspection records.
 

Then, kick back on Independence Day knowing you’ve exercised an important part of democracy—the public’s right to know.

Follow @OpenTheGov for more filing ideas, and share your experiences with us on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #FOIA4th!  If you file, share this badge of honor on your Facebook, Twitter, or blog: 

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