DOUGLASVILLE — The Georgia Open Government Symposium series is coming to Douglasville.
The free events are being offered by the Georgia First Amendment Foundation and the Transparency Project of Georgia across the state and are incubating a culture of government transparency, according to organizers.
The event will be hosted by the Douglas County Tea Party and the Douglasville & Douglas County for Civic Action Facebook Page, and will be held February 20.
Jim Zachary, director of the Transparency Project of Georgia is joined by colleagues Holly Manheimer, director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation and Hyde Post, president of GFAF for the symposiums, providing open records and meetings training, while sharing their experiences in open government advocacy.
Organizers are encouraging elected officials, government attorneys, records custodians, journalists, community activists, students and anyone who has an interest in transparency and more accountable government to attend.
“Open government is better government, and we think the climate for government transparency in Georgia needs to improve,” Zachary said. “We are not against government, but we are for taxpayers and ordinary citizens who are often frustrated when it comes to their access to records and meetings.”
The agenda for the symposium includes four sessions, beginning at 1 p.m.
• Open Records: It’s the Law
• Open Meetings: It’s the Law
• Why Government Transparency Matters
• Open forum and round table discussion
“We have had a great response from journalists, students and public officials who have attended symposiums in Macon and Valdosta and we hope the Douglasville event will give others the opportunity to further educate themselves on the principles of open government,” Zachary said.
Zachary has been a leading voice for government transparency in Georgia.
He was awarded the David E. Hudson Open Government Award this year and received the Georgia Press Association Freedom of Information Award in 2014 and 2013, along with statewide and national awards for editorial writing, reporting and public service during his journalism career in Georgia and Tennessee. He is the editor of the Valdosta Daily Times.
Manheimer began work as the first and only executive director of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation in Jan. 1996. She graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College; received a Master’s in English from New York University; earned her Juris Doctorate from Emory University Law School; and received a Master’s in communication from Georgia State University. When not serving the foundation, she practices law with Stuckey & Manheimer, Inc. and serves as a part-time judge of the DeKalb County Recorders Court.
The Open Government Symposium will be held Friday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m.
at the Douglasville Police Depar
tment located at 2083 Fairburn Rd., Douglasville, 30135. While there is no registration fee, individuals or groups planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP by emailing email@example.com