Announcement: CCDBR to Host FOIA Training Workshop Featuring LPL

Posted on January 9, 2018

To ensure the integrity of the democratic process, it is vital that citizens must be able to know what their government does in their name.  This is more important now than ever, as government at all levels increasingly pursues opaque and secretive policies. Sadly, the most reliable such tool, the Freedom of Information Act, remains for many a seemingly inaccessible or daunting mechanism.

In collaboration with our friends at Lucy Parsons Labs, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights will be hosting an information and training session on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). During the session, LPL’s Matt Chapman, along with volunteers with the organization, will present a brief overview of FOIA and the request submission process, after which attendees are invited to participate in an interactive workshop coaching them on how to file their own FOIA requests. The goal of the training is that, at the conclusion of the workshop, participants with no prior experience will be able to file their first FOIA request, and are encouraged to do so as a culmination of the event.   Both federal and Illinois FOIA procedures will be explained.

CCDBR is delighted to renew our collaboration with LPL, a partnership which began with their presentation of two digital security training sessions hosted by CCDBR in October. Few organizations are as familiar or adept with FOIA requests as LPL, as the results of their filings have produced rich datasets on the use of surveillance technology by the Chicago Police Department, as well as in-depth reporting with the Chicago Reader exposing CPD’s practice of civil asset forfeiture.

The FOIA workshop will be held on February 11 at 2 p.m., and is free and open to the public. We encourage activists and community members of all experience levels with the FOIA request process to attend and contribute. Further information on the event can be found in its listing on our Events page here.