RALLY TO THE CAUSE
Join the Missouri Sunshine Coalition during our membership drive
The Missouri Sunshine Coalition supports Missouri citizens in exercising their rights under the landmark Sunshine Law — a mission that is a blend of education and advocacy and that never has been more important than during these remarkable times.
With your annual membership of $25 or more, this work will continue and expand in line with a strategic plan the coalition’s board initiated last year. Joining is easy, click on the button below to fill out your application or donate online, or fill out an application/donation form and return it, along with payment, to: Missouri Sunshine Coalition, 802 Locust Street, Columbia, MO 65201
At the board’s direction, a part-time executive director was hired in January 2020 and efforts began to refocus on membership development and support. This has included reinstating our affiliation with the National Freedom of Information Coalition, launching a Sunshine News & Notes newsletter and providing recent training via Zoom in partnership with the Show-Me Press Association.
The coming months will include a significant expansion of outreach efforts on social media, return of the Sunshine Heroes recognition program and the vital work of monitoring proposed legislation in the General Assembly. Next spring — post COVID-19 we hope — look for the return of the annual Sunshine Week observance and programs.
Membership dues and donations are needed to build up the capacity of the coalition and to sustain these efforts over time. In 2023, the coalition will mark the 50th anniversary of the Sunshine Law and its protections that afford every citizen access to public meetings and records.
“The important understanding is the Sunshine Law works for everyone — young or old, those of all races and incomes, whether your allegiances are with Republicans, Democrats or another political movement,” said Executive Director Dennis Ellsworth.
“We all have a stake in seeing to it that the Sunshine Law is preserved, strengthened as necessary, and broadly embraced by the public.”
The coalition, true to its founding principles adopted in 2008, seeks support from all sectors of society that benefit from government transparency. From private citizens to business owners, the news media, government officials, civic groups and nonprofits, we welcome all who share our interests.
The Missouri Press Association is proud to join with the Missouri Sunshine Coalition and with newspapers from across Missouri and throughout the nation to celebrate Sunshine Week.
Free materials that individuals and organizations can use to participate in Sunshine Week are available on the project’s website.
Other Sunshine Law Resources:
Freedom of Information Center
National Newspaper Association
Newspaper Association of America
Missouri Attorney General’s Office
Missouri State Auditor’s Office October 2016 State Audit on Sunshine Law
ADOPTING A Sunshine LAW POLICY
State law mandates that public governmental bodies develop a Sunshine Law policy. The Missouri Press Association here offers a sample draft for governmental bodies in Missouri.
Proposed Draft of Sunshine Law Policy for Public Governmental Bodies in the State of Missouri