About the Coalition

We are a nonprofit alliance formed to promote expanded access to government records, meetings and other proceedings at the state and local level. Our efforts are focused solely on local/state information access. While we do some lobbying (within limits imposed by IRS rules), our primary work is educational. The Coalition was formed in 1996, after a year-long organizing effort. Our board of directors represents the state's access activists and friends of open government, including Virginia's librarians, genealogists, broadcasters, newspapers and the public at large. Start-up funding was provided by the Virginia Press Association, the Virginia Association of Broadcasters, Media General, the Landmark Communications Foundation, America Online, all of the major in-state newspapers, public radio and television stations, a number of commercial stations and other friends of open government. Supporters also include Dominion, Appalachian Power, SunTrust, LexisNexis, Christian & Barton, Conservation Voters League, Woods Rogers, Gentry Locke.

Click here for our current bylaws. (Microsoft Word document)

Founding or current members include USA Today, Associated Press, the Freedom Forum, the Virginia Genealogical Society, Library of Virginia, Roanoke Office of City Attorney, journalism schools, student newspapers, First Amendment lawyers, the League of Women Voters, the Virginia Library Association, the Association of Law Librarians, Lexis/Nexis and some 75 interested individual citizens and public officials.

Dues are $30 for individuals ($10 for students); $110 for nonprofit groups. (Please contact us for other categories.)

VCOG is registered under section 57-49 of the Virginia Sollicitation of Contributions Law. Our financial statement is available on written request from the Office of Consumer Affairs.

As a tax-exempt 501c3 organization, our IRS 990 form for the past 3 years is available for public inspection. Our reports are also posted at the Guidestar site.

Our board of directors:

PRESIDENT: Jeff South, Retired from Robertson School of Media & Culture at VCU

VICE PRESIDENT: Paul Casalaspi, Director, Information Technology, Library of Virginia

SECRETARY: Stephen Hayes, General Manager, WTVR

TREASURER: Joe Fuentes, Lightfoot

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Craig T. Fifer, Alexandria

Brian Colligan, Editorial Writer, The Virginian-Pilot

Lou Emerson, Former Publisher, FauquierNow.com

Katy Evans, The Washington Post

Maria Everett, Virginia ABC Authority

Chrisopher Gatewood, Threshold Counsel

Bob Gibson, Academy for Civic Renewal, Cooper Center for Public Service

Josh Heslinga, Virginia Information Technology Agency

Wat Hopkins, professor, communications studies, Va. Tech

Isaiah Knight, The Yummy Potato, Lynchburg

Lawrence McConnell, Retired from The Roanoke Times

Patricia O'Bannon, Henrico County Board of Supervisors

Bruce Potter, Publisher, InsideNoVa

Nancy Kent Smith, VP/News WWBT-TV

Jay Speer, Virginia Poverty Law Center

Betsy Edwards, executive director, Virginia Press Association

Jonathan Williams, Executive Vice President, Virginia Association of Broadcasters

Megan H. Rhyne
EMAIL: mrhyne@opengovva.org
PHONE: 540.353.8264
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2576, Williamsburg VA 23187