Brown Act requires open meetings in local government

Bagley-Keene Act requires open meetings in state government

Public Records Act protects access to state and local records

State Constitution protects journalists’ confidential sources

State Constitution guarantees access to public meetings, records

State’s Court System opens its administrative records to public scrutiny

State Constitution amended to require more transparency in the Legislature

Who We Are:

Fighters for Your Rights and Freedoms

We help citizens, public servants and journalists in California. We are a nonprofit organization, established to keep Californians aware of what they need to know to hold government and other powerful institutions accountable for their actions.  Our mission is to support and defend open government, an enquiring press and a citizenry free to exchange facts and opinions on public issues.

In short, Californians Aware is a center for information, guidance and initiatives in public forum law.

CalAware’s prompt and expert legal advice not only helps me do my job, but helps me pass on that expertise to readers who are facing their own barriers to public access.

Thy Vo, Reporter, Voice of OC, Orange County

CalAware has been a tremendous resource to both me personally and our news organization. It is often the first entity we call when looking for sources or counsel on Brown Act and First Amendment issues, and has contributed mightily to our award winning coverage of Humboldt County. We are very grateful to have CalAware to turn to.

Thadeus Greenson, News Editor, North Coast Journal

Support our cause and get exclusive benefits such as access to our knowledge base, forums and help with records requests! Become a member today!

What We Do

Helping People Understand their Public Forum Rights

Public Forum Law protects your rights.  We fight the trends of excessive official secrecy, intimidation or retaliation and eroding opportunity.

I’m a newspaper reporter and a government watchdog in Dixon. I’m a member of CalAware, and it helped me understand my rights as a reporter and as citizen in order to hold government accountable and keep them open and transparent.

Ourania Riddle, Dixon

Access to records

of state and local government agencies and courts

Freedom to speak

associate, assemble and petition for or against change.

Access to meetings

of public officials in state and local government

Freedom to report

facts ideas and opinions in old and new media

Freedom from fear

for whistleblowing to the authorities or the press

Californians Aware

is here for you. Join us and become a member today.

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Government creating roadblocks due to pandemic

“Sunshine is the greatest disinfectant” -- Louis Brandeis The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a vehicle for allowing government to create roadblocks,intentional and otherwise, for the public to participate and obtain information on howgovernment agencies are addressing...

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How a Barrio Logan ‘Nobody’ Tweet-Toppled Labor Kingpin Mickey Kasparian

Times of San Diego | Jan 11, 2019

Feasting on catered tacos last Saturday, 40 current and former members of UFCW Local 135 and spouses celebrated the dawn of a new year and the destruction of an old foe — Mickey Kasparian...

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State Supreme Court to take up public records cost case

San Francisco Chronicle | Dec 19, 2018

The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to decide an issue of importance to anyone seeking police body camera videos or other electronic records from government agencies: whether the fees for those records can include the sometimes sizable costs of removing confidential material before releasing the rest...

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California Refuses to Release DMV Motor Voter Files

Government Technology | Dec 7, 2018

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is refusing to turn over public documents that could shed light on problems with the state’s Motor Voter program, which launched earlier this year to automatically register people to vote when they visit the Department of Motor Vehicles...

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Inglewood scrambles to justify paying its police chief an extra $61,000 annually for taking a 2-week course

Daily Breeze | Oct 5, 2018

Inglewood Police Chief Mark Fronterotta collected an extra $61,000 last year that was not authorized by the city’s charter, the City Council or his employment agreement, according to an investigation by the Southern California News Group...

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California transparency advocates celebrate passage of new laws freeing police records

MuckRock | Oct 1, 2018

For 40 years, broad exemptions in the California Public Records Law blocked access to law enforcement records. This week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two new pieces of legislation that...

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