NFOIC Summit 2009 more details from May 29

TO: NFOIC Summit 2009 registrants
FROM: Mary Treacy, Minnesota Coalition on Government Information
RE: One Week and Counting

The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information has the welcome mat rolled out – and some last minute news for those who will be participating in the National Freedom of Information Coalition Summit 2009. Please share the relevant information with colleagues who are unable to make the pilgrimage to our fair city. Last week we sent a note to attendees who will be coming to Minneapolis from around the country. This note is for all the attendees now registered. There is always room for more Summit participations – if you have a colleague who might be interested, encourage him or her to come on down or, in our case, up!

News from the Summit:

* To ensure that attendees and others are up to speed on the program. MnCOGI has been interviewing Summit speakers in advance of the Summit. The result is a series of podcasts posted on the MnCOGI website. Click “podcasts” on the home page to hear recorded interviews with some of the Summit speakers as well as podcast interview with Minnesota open government heroes.

* We were concerned about how to open the Summit to those whose travel budgets have hit hard times. After some exploration we have arranged to have the full Summit livestreamed. Our partner organization is The Uptake, the folks who streamed the Republican National Convention in August 2008 and who, more recently, have opened the doors to the hearings re. the Franken/Coleman senatorial election. Those who cannot be present may participate in the Summit from their laptop – and we will have a record of the proceedings.

* In another partnership with local media we have arranged for access advocates to participate in a pre-Summit radio discussion on Wednesday, June 3. Truth to Tell, hosted by activist Andy Driscoll and carried on local station KFAI, takes a lead in opening the doors to government. Again, the discussion is streamed on the web.

* We hope all Summit attendees plan to attend the social hour on Friday, June 5, 5-6 p.m. NFOIC has generously suggested that we invite friends and supporters to this event – we have and many are coming. It’s our chance to thank them publicly and for them to meet our colleagues both locally and from other state coalitions. These folks have sustained MnCOGI as we struggled to meet the requirements of the NFOIC incentive grant in these tough times!

* Denise Meyers at NFOIC has done a great job of ferreting out information about parking. Logistics are attached. Lots of construction downtown Minneapolis, too. Check the MnCOGI website for the most recent info – parking is convenient but be prepared.

* Those registered for the Summit should have received a “Welcome to Minneapolis” over Memorial Day weekend. It has recently come to me that the list I was using was not complete. The notes were all about the Twin Cities – public transit, skyways, the Mall and, above all, the Mighty Mississippi. If you didn’t get that e-letter, it’s posted on the MnCOGI website – or just let me know and I’ll send you a copy.

We look forward to seeing you soon in Minneapolis. Remember to bring walking shows so you won’t miss the walkable sites of the city – the Mississippi, Nicollet Mall, the skyways, museums and so much more. Freedom of information favors a free spirit which assumes you get out and explore your environs.