Durham, N.C. — The North Carolina Open Government Coalition is hosting its annual Sunshine Day event on March 16 in Durham to bring awareness to public records and open meetings laws in the state.
The event will be held at the Durham Convention Center and feature a keynote speech by state Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Members of the public can register to attend. The cost is $30 per person or $45 for registration and a one-year membership to the N.C. Open Government Coalition.
The day-long event will also include a morning public records training program featuring Greensboro communications staff discussing their Public Information Request Tracking system, News & Record database editor Margaret Moffett on making public records requests and N.C. Open Government Coalition Director Jonathan Jones on legal updates.
An afternoon panel session, from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., will focus on the use of body-worn cameras by police and public access to the video. Speakers include ACLU of North Carolina legal director Christopher Brook and Stevens Martin Vaughn & Tadych attorney Hugh Stevens.
A panel session will follow from 3 to 4 p.m. on transparency in the courts. Speakers include McGuireWoods Attorney Jon Buchan, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Clerk of Superior Court Elisa Chin Gary and Charlotte Observer reporter Fred Kelly.
WRAL.com will live stream the two afternoon panel sessions, as well as Cooper's keynote address.
The open government coalition will also be launching its inaugural awards program. Awards will be given in the following categories: advocacy, government, journalism and citizen.
WRAL plans week of open government coverage
In honor of Sunshine Week, March 15-21, WRAL News is planning a week of coverage on how state and local government agencies are doing to provide information and access to the public.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote the importance of open government and freedom of information.
"Though created by journalists, Sunshine Week is about the public’s right to know what its government is doing, and why," according to SunshineWeek.org. "Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger."