The Public Records Advisory Council (“PRAC”) and the office of the Public Records Advocate (“PRA”) have been under attack since their inception.
In creating the office of the Public Records Advocate and the PRAC, the Oregon Legislature had intended to hire a “pitbull” for government transparency. With the appointment of Ginger McCall, they got one. McCall was so effective in fighting for reforms that the Governor’s legal counsel unsuccessfully attempted to rein her in.
Rather than succumb to pressure, Ms. McCall resigned and blew the whistle.
In the wake of the scandal, Governor Brown apologized and issued a statement agreeing with Ms. McCall that the “Public Records Advocate should be truly independent”
Since the Governor’s Statement issued, the PRAC has been moving forward with its efforts to find a new Public Records Advocate, and to work on the legislative changes necessary to ensure the office’s independence.
However, a new opponent has shown up. The Oregon League of Cities’ lobbyist, Scott Winkels, is proposing an amendment to rollback the independence of the PRA and PRAC.
Just a reminder, the #Oregon Public Records Advisory Council is meeting Weds at 1:30. @OregonCities has proposed an amendment which would revoke the independence of the Public Records Advocate, strip the Council's ability to propose legislation & strip Advocate's Council vote— Ginger McCall (@gingermccall) January 21, 2020
Here’s how you can help:
On Wednesday, the PRAC will meet to discuss Mr. Winkels’ amendment. By Tuesday evening, it is important for the public to weigh in to let Mr. Winkels and his client cities know that we want a strong advocate fighting for transparency in Oregon.
Please email PRAC Chair, Stephanie Clark at email@example.com and let her and the rest of the Public Records Advisory Council know that you want the PRA to remain independent and the PRAC to remain a strong advocate for transparency in Oregon.
If you wish to bcc: firstname.lastname@example.org it will help me to continue to organize our advocacy.
Please send an email today!
Attending the hearing
If you are able to call in to the PRAC session, here are the details:
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 1:30 p.m - 4:30 p.m.
Join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/646850957
Dial in using your phone. 877-568-4106 Access Code: 646-850-957