The public has the basic right to know. 

We all have the right to know what government is, and is not, doing. 

We have the right to know how government is spending taxpayer dollars. 

We have the right to know what documents government is holding. 

We have right of access. 

The public right to know is not partisan.

Government transparency is crucial to democracy.

Thursday evening at 7 p.m. we are happy to join the Black Student League at Valdosta State University for a Freedom of Information Symposium at VSU Student Union, Ballroom C on the third floor. 

The event is free and open to the public. 

We encourage everyone interested in the First Amendment, the public right to know and open government to attend.

Presenters will explain the provisions of the Georgia Open Meetings Act and Open Records Act and answer questions regarding public access. 

We will also present the result of the first all-local public records audit conducted by volunteers who have shared their experiences while making local public records requests. 

Free educational materials will be available. 

Leading up to the public forum, The Valdosta Daily Times is publishing a special edition: Freedom of Information; The Public Right to Know. The special publication outlines provisions of state Sunshine Laws and includes interviews with local officials, the general public and even a directory of local records custodians to help the public access public records. Copies of the special edition will also be available at the forum. 

In addition to inviting the public, we also extend our cordial invitation to all local elected and appointed officials, government attorneys and records custodians. 

Please join us and the Black Student League 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at the Valdosta State University Student Union, third floor, Ballroom C. 

We look forward to speaking with you there and discuss the public right to know. 

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