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FOIA in action

I never had to leave the comfort of my dorm room to put the Freedom of Information Act to the test. A few phone calls to my city council woman and I knew exactly where to look on the Internet for the complete agenda for the Minneapolis City Council meeting.

I found out that the agenda was posted online when I was working on the profile lab, choosing to profile City Council member Cam Gordon. I didn’t realize then that the online version links to the minutes of the various committee meetings, which provide complete information for the topics discussed at the City Council meetings. Anyone with a computer can access this information. They no longer print out copies of the agenda, so it may be more difficult to get if one does not have access to a computer or a printer.

The site is also not all that easy to negotiate sometimes, so the help of Diane Hofstede’s office was useful. They referred me to the City Clerk’s office which spent five minutes explaining to me how their posting worked.

This information is readily available, at your fingertips, if you know how to look for it.


Thanks for the lively narrative. Interesting note that they no longer make the dead-tree variety of agenda -- I guess it really is the 21st century.

FOIA is not the operative law here, but I get your point. Our Monday speaker Dave Aeikens will make the point that the Internet helps a lot, but it doesn't reach nearly into every file drawer of government.