B4OV6By Kelly Aviles, CalAware Vice President for Open Government Compliance

During Sunshine Week, we raise awareness of issues related to transparency in government.  We also push for changes that can help our local agencies be more open year round.   In order to continue the push for transparency throughout the year and assist the public in monitoring their local agencies to ensure compliance, CalAware has developed a new Community Watchdog Guide.  The Guide is completely free and available for download here.

It was developed by CalAware's General Counsel Terry Francke in a user-friendly question and answer format.   Citizens, journalists, bloggers, government officials, and anyone else interested in getting quick answers to questions regarding the rights of the public and the responsibilities of our local agencies will greatly benefit from the Guide.

The Guide covers the most frequently questioned areas of our open government laws: Meetings of Local Government Bodies and the Brown Act; Access to Government Files and the Public Records Act; and Meetings and Records of Local Court Administration.

"The CalAware Community Watchdog Guide" is a great pocket reference guide to the most frequently asked questions and the most frequently encountered situations. It's meant to allow those in the trenches get answers to their questions in real time, when they need the information the most."

While the Guide is intended as a brief introduction into issues affecting the public, you can obtain more information from any of the more detailed publications from CalAware, including the new Journalism Law Guide, The CalAware Guide to Public Records and Private Information in California, and The CalAware Guide to Open Meetings in California.  All three publications provide case law and details on all aspects of our open government laws.