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. 

As a tax-exempt 501c3 organization, our IRS 990 forms and financial statements are available for review on request.

Our board of directors:

  • PRESIDENT: Maria Everett, Former Director, Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council
  • VICE PRESIDENT: Paul Casalaspi, Director, Information Technology, Library of Virginia
  • SECRETARY: Stephen Hayes, General Manager, WTVR
  • TREASURER: Joe Fuentes, Lightfoot
  • IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Jeff South, Retired from Robertson School of Media & Culture at VCU
  • Bobbi Bowman, retired journalist, Reston
  • Brian Colligan, Editorial Writer, The Virginian-Pilot
  • Katy Evans, The Washington Post
  • Craig T. Fifer, Washington, D.C.
  • Richard Gard, Editor, VIRGINIA Magazine
  • Christopher Gatewood, Threshold Counsel
  • Joshua Heslinga, Virginia IT Agency
  • Reynolds Hutchins, Editor, The Daily Progress
  • Amanda Kastl, Fairfax County government
  • 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
  • Elliott Robinson, News Director, VPM
  • Jay Speer, Virginia Poverty Law Center
  • Steve Stewart, Editor, The Smithfield Times
  • Christopher Tyree, Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism at WHRO
  • Sarah Vogelsong, Freelance journalists
  • EX OFFICIO MEMBER: Betsy Edwards, executive director, Virginia Press Association
  • EX OFFICIO MEMBER: 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