Dear Friend of Californians Aware,

First of all, I hope you and yours have been spared the terrible wildfires north and south this year. If not, let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.

In 2017 we’ve been in court in two Brown Act cases, challenging officials’ illegal use of closed session meetings to deal with dangerous conditions in public transportation and with financial crises in local government.

We’ve also completely rebuilt our website to provide more ways for people to learn about and use their rights to free speech, government transparency and protected whistleblowing.

But I have spent most of my time and energy recently in planning how to sustain and even extend our work next year as I throttle back to a consulting role.

What that involves is building a fund to afford a salaried executive director.  We began last year by earning a $10,000 down payment thanks to the matching gift from an anonymous angel, and another $1,000 donation came in the last few days. That leaves $39K to go, which we’ll have to put together starting now and ending in the spring.

The great news is that we’ve found a wonderful candidate for the job—a proven fighter for open government, free speech and protected whistleblowing who’s a lawyer, a journalist, and a legislative advocate who’s willing to work for less than market value just because the challenge offers such rare opportunities for both interesting professional achievement and public service.

Whether your tax-deductible contribution is dated this month or arrives in the new year, please enable our transition from a volunteer to an employee effort—now that we’ve found the ideal new quarterback for CalAware. You can contribute online or by mailing your check to Californians Aware, 2218 Homewood Way, Carmichael CA 95608.

Thank you for whatever you can do, and best wishes for a warm and peaceful holiday season and a rewarding new year.

Terry Francke