CARMICHAEL — Californians Aware, a new non-profit group that promotes open government and First Amendment rights by working with residents, journalists and public officials will hold open forums in Orange County on August 11, 12 and 13:

Wednesday, August 11 Rancho Cucamonga – 6:30 p.m.
Rancho Cucamonga Senior Center
9791 Arrow Hwy., Rancho Cucamonga

Thursday, August 12 Santa Ana – 2:00 p.m.
Orange County Register’s Hoiles Auditorium
625 N. Grand Avenue, Santa Ana

Costa Mesa – 7 p.m.
Los Angeles Times’ Community Room
1375 Sunflower Avenue, Costa Mesa
*Orange County Supervisor Chris Norby will be present at the evening event in order to present his case for the need for greater government transparency.

Friday, August 13 San Juan Capistrano – 8 a.m.
Community Coffee Chat, hosted by the Capistrano Dispatch
Metro Java Café, San Juan Plaza
32211 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano

The meetings are open to the public and free of charge.  Concernced citizens, public officials, journalists, students and anyone else interested in promoting our public forum rights are encouraged to attend.

Californians Aware is dedicated to helping citizens, officials and journalists keep Californians aware of public issues by supporting and defending open government, an inquiring press, and a citizenry free to exchange facts and opinions.

The group was established by Terry Francke, former general counsel of the California First Amendment Coalition, to help journalists and others keep Californians aware of what they need to know to hold government and other powerful institutions accountable for their actions.

Francke’s daughter, Emily, is Californians Aware’s executive director. Its board of directors includes a college professor, city council member, journalists, attorneys, community activists and others from throughout the state.

As it grows, Carmichael-based Californians Aware will be the center for information, guidance and initiatives on public forum law.

The August Orange County meetings are the latest in a series that Californians Aware is holding statewide as Francke introduces himself to residents, reporters and public officials to answer their questions, and also get a feel for the issues and challenges facing those fighting to ensure that the public’s business is always performed before the watchful eyes of an informed public – or subject to reporting and comment otherwise.

For more information about Californians Aware, see the group’s web site at or call its office at 916-487-7000.