Whitman College
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How to Discover Government Secrets and Impress Your Date With the Public Records Act

Rachel Alexander (ES-Politics 2013) will walk through why you should care about public records access, what records can do for you, and how to actually file a request.

Last year, Washington state legislators earned national attention (and ridicule) for attempting to rush through a bill exempting themselves from Washington’s public records act. The issue brought the often-overlooked topic of government records into public focus, with thousands of people calling Governor Inslee’s office urging a veto. But outside dramatic moments in the state legislature, public records often take a backseat to other political issues that seem more urgent or have a human face on them.

Government transparency may seem like an esoteric topic, or something for journalists and lawyers to argue about, but it’s not! I’ll walk through why you should care about public records access, what records can do for you and how to actually file a request. Plus, you’ll get some fun examples of things you can find in government archives, from a $50,000 Magic: the Gathering collection purchased with proceeds from stolen oxycodone to Jack White’s secret guacamole recipe.
 

Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Olin Auditorium

Event Type

Speaker

Audience

Faculty, Staff, Students, General Public

Departments

Academic, Social Sciences, Politics

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