Announcement: CCDBR to Host Training Session by Local FOIA experts

Posted on July 10, 2018

Few tools are indispensable to protecting our civil liberties in the way that Freedom of Information Act requests are, in that they compel government at all levels to submit records of their activity to the public that they would otherwise endeavor to keep secret. On account of this fact, the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a FOIA training session on Saturday, July 14 hosted by local government transparency activist Matt Chapman and Chicago attorney Dan Massoglia.

In his efforts to shed light on government actions that are debated and taken behind closed doors, Chapman has submitted dozens (if not hundreds) of FOIA requests, many of which pertain to the city of Chicago and other local government bodies in the state, and has become intimately familiar with the process through a wealth of firsthand experience. He will be joined by Dan Massoglia, a Chicago-based attorney who is well-versed in the legal foundation of FOIA requests and has taken a number of contested requests to court. Together, they will give a presentation, applicable to those of all experience levels, outlining the substantial and logistical characteristics of an effective FOIA filings, as well as the basic legal recourse available for filers whose requests are denied. 

Following the presentation segment will be an interactive, hands-on workshop in which participants are invited to pitch their own ideas for prospective FOIA requests and receive feedback from Chapman and Massoglia. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to walk away with submission-ready or near-submission-ready requests that can be put into actual practice.

The entire training session is free and open to the public. Activists, journalists, and community members who value government accountability, regardless of experience level, are encouraged to participate. For more information, see the posting for the session on our Events page. If you have any questions, you may direct them to our email.