NEFAC Opens 2013 Appeal for Support of Its Open-Government Mission


Rose Cavanagh | 401.331.7209 |

Dear Right-to-Know Advocates,

We’ve been busy this year shining a light on what our elected and appointed officials are doing, or not doing, on our behalf, and it’s time again to ask you to help the New England First Amendment Coalition continue that mission.

The KnowNewEngland site provides a wealth of information on right-to-know activities. The monthly NEFAC Report sustains a conversation across New England and beyond on open-government battles waged and victories won as does the blog managed with our academic partners at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism.

And our signature event — the annual New England First Amendment Institute — matches selected fellows from across the region with a faculty studded with Pulitzer Prize winners to sharpen watchdog skills.

How valuable are those sessions held Sept. 29 – Oct.1 at the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s headquarters in Dedham, Mass.?  Martine Powers of The Boston Globe tell in her own words about the lasting benefits she gained from the 2012 Institute. See video below.

If you’re motivated to give now to support NEFAC’s work spreading the gospel of open government, go to our special annual appeal site for the perks available from our partners across New England for a modest donation.  You’ll also find more detailed information about NEFAC, the Institute and our mission.

Here’s a sampling of other NEFAC activities during the past year:

  • At our annual luncheon in Boston, we presented GlobalPost president and CEO Philip Balboni with the Stephen Hamblett Award and gave a new FOI award to Don Stacom of The Hartford Courant and the Citizen Award to David Lang, president of The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire.
  • Added NEFAC’s voice to protests of  Gov. Dannel Malloy’s plan to further consolidate Connecticut watchdog agencies.
  • Protested the federal seizure of Associated Press phone records in connection with a security leak investigation.
  • Sponsored Sunshine events in Rhode Island and Connecticut on mining information from the public record.
  • With NEFAC’s Suffolk Law chapter, we examined the effects of the “Citizens United” ruling on the 2012 elections.

Rosanna Cavanagh, NEFAC’s executive director, underlines the importance of NEFAC’s activities in resisting inroads into the free flow of information to the public.

“In these times of ever increasing secrecy and growing assaults on freedom of the press, the work that we do is more important than ever.  Your generosity allows us to continue our important work in areas of education, law and litigation and keep the fight for meaningful democracy alive in our region.”

A gift in any amount would be welcome. Here are some some suggested levels for your donation:

  • Member $100 Your contribution will pay for a training session for members of the public on First Amendment and Freedom of Information laws.
  • Friend of the First Amendment $250 Your contribution will support FOI training sessions for the staff of an organization.
  • President’s Circle $500 Your contribution will pay the expenses of five journalism students to attend our annual fundraising luncheon and be inspired by the recipient of the Hamblett Award.
  • Director’s Circle  $1,000 Your contribution will pay the expenses of one of our New England First Amendment Institute fellows.
  • Benefactor $5,000 Your contribution will cover honorariums to 10 Institute faculty members.

Thank you in advance for anything you can do to help us pursue our mission.


Mary Jane Wilkinson
NEFAC president