Call for Action Alert: Sunshine Week honors right to open records

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Colo. (KKTV) -- This week is Sunshine Week, which is a time to honor the public's right to open records and government information.

Credit: MGN

Journalists from across Southern Colorado gathered in Colorado Springs for a media mixer to mark the week. The event was put on by the Colorado Springs Press Association.

Some of our reporters met with other media members from TV stations, newspapers and radio stations in our area.

Sunshine Week is a good time to shine a light on how important it is for everyone to have access to public information.

Nearly every day we are at the courthouse requesting public court documents, like affidavits. They give us insight into why someone was arrested and what's going on in our community. Records like that are open to the public.

Along with court papers, we regularly request open records to help hold the powerful accountable. That's how we obtain information such as government salaries, radon levels in schools, teacher pay and more.

You may remember, last year, our 11 Call for Action team obtained the records of our local school districts. We found El Paso County teachers are paid lower than the state average, even though the county is paying millions for superintendent salaries at a total of 15 different school districts. Click here to read the full report.

Information is available to us thanks to the Colorado Open Records Act, which was signed in 1968.

The non-profit group, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, just released a resource guide to help you better understand the law. It covers topics such as, which meetings are open to the public and how much you can be charged for a copy of public records. Click here to find out more information.

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