Knowledge will forever govern ignorance….” — James Madison

The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information (MNCOGI) is the state’s all-volunteer freedom of information council, dedicated to the fight against secrecy. We educate the public, advocate before the legislature and take part in litigation, if need be, to further the cause of government transparency and the public’s right to know.
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MNCOGI files for summary judgment against Minneapolis

On May 29th, 2024, MNCOGI filed its brief for partial summary judgment in a long-running Data Practices lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis. In 2021, MNCOGI submitted a Data Practices Act request that sought multiple categories of records related to the use of “coaching” by the Minneapolis Police Department. In response to this request, the City categorically denied access to all such records.

MNCOGI then filed suit, contending that the records were wrongfully withheld — including documents related to police disciplinary actions that should have been publicly available. Read more…

Because of ongoing litigation, all inquiries about MNCOGI v. City of Minneapolis should be directed to our counsel, Leita Walker. She can be reached by email at WalkerL@ballardspahr.com.

MNCOGI in the News. MNCOGI has been in the news recently. Read these media stories to find out why. 

Minnesota Reformer: A bill critics say would aid government secrecy is on the ropes

Star Tribune: Open government advocates say public forums should be broadcast despite misinformation fears

Minnesota Reformer: Minneapolis legislative agenda includes tightening public records laws it deems burdensome

MNCOGI was busy at the Minnesota Capitol and the courts in 2024, working both to pass needed new laws and to curb efforts that could impinge on existing public data access rights.

Attorney General data. MNCOGI spokesperson Don Gemberling testified before the Legislative Commission on Data Practices regarding problems with the Minnesota Supreme Court’s new interpretation of the Attorney General’s data classification statute. Read more…

Minnesota Open Meeting Law. MNCOGI worked on initiatives to improve Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law (OML), and also worked to stem problematic OML legislation. Read more…

Hennepin County data bill. MNCOGI worked to stop a problematic Hennepin County data bill from advancing through the legislative process. Read more…

Preserving access to DLI data. When the Minnesota Department of Labor, along with the Attorney General and several other state entities brought forward a bill to create a new “Intergovernmental Misclassification” Partnership entity, the bill language could be read to exempt the new entity from the Data Practices Act. Read more…

Don Gemberling

Don Gemberling: Hall of Famer

Don Gemberling, MNCOGI’s longest serving board member, has been unanimously inducted into the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s State Open Government Hall of Fame, class of 2023.

Read more…

Need Help? 

If you’re a Minnesota citizen or reporter who needs help accessing government records or a governmental body’s public meeting, we can answer your questions and explain potential options. We can also help guide you through the process making an open records request and what to expect once you’ve made it. We offer no legal services.

Contact MNCOGI spokesperson Don Gemberling at mncogi@gmail.com or phone 651-699-6553.

Knowledge will forever govern ignorance... - James Madison