Sunday, June 24, 2012

Great event and opportunity.  An important issue that needs to be addressed is the protection of the individual that is requesting information.  I believe that there needs to be an amendment to the Act that addresses this issue.  When a person files a FOIA they should not be harassed or intimidated and for those that adhere to those practices there should be serious consequences. 

BGA to host citizen training session

Better Government Association officials want to empower suburban residents to keep an eye on local governments and hold them more accountable.
The nonprofit organization is hosting a citizen watchdog training event 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the National-Louis University Lisle campus, 850 Warrenville Road. The free session, taught by pro bono lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and a representative from the Illinois attorney general’s office, will educate attendees about the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.

Barb Macholz, a civic engagement coordinator with the BGA, said the group has held a series of seminars for the past two years.
“The main idea is to give citizens the tools of transparency that they can use to get engaged in what’s going on with their local government,” Macholz said. “This is a really good introduction for people to start to understand how these boards work.”
While there have been training events throughout the state, Tuesday night’s will be the first held in DuPage County.
Macholz said the hope is to encourage more suburban residents to become citizen watchdogs.
“We’re finding that the suburban areas tend to be less looked at sometimes,” Macholz said. “There are some little fiefdoms.”
She added, “I feel it’s really important for citizens to get engaged instead of sitting at home and complaining or feeling like they can’t go out and have their voice heard.”
The session will be held in the Public Forum Room at National-Louis University. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP at
For more information, contact Macholz by calling (312) 821-9025 or emailing

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