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April 2017

Clay Calvert
Brechner Center for Freedom of Information at the Univ. of Florida serves the public with information about the First Amendment, freedom of information, and access to government information issues.

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May 2017

How Americans can build and flex their citizenship muscles to make government respond.

Chris Hand
Chris Hand is an attorney with a long record of public service. He previously served as a speechwriter, press secretary, and campaign press secretary for Senator Graham and as campaign manager for Florida’s former statewide elected chief financial officer, Alex Sink. In 2008, Hand served as one of 27 Florida electors in the United States Electoral College.

With former Florida Governor and United States Senator Bob Graham, Hand is the co-author of America, the Owner’s Manual: You Can Fight City Hall – and Win, a guide to helping citizens make their voices heard and influence government.

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September 2017

This event has been canceled due to Hurricane Irma.

Keith Perry, Florida Senator
We’re kicking off the 2017-2018 season with guest speaker, Senator Keith Perry. Perry is a Republican member of the Florida Senate, representing the 8th district, encompassing Alachua, Putnam, and part of Marion County in North Central Florida. He also served in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 22nd district from 2010 to 2012 and the 21st district from 2012 to 2016.
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October 2017

Monday, October 9, 11:30 AM – 1 PM

Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida

During Simon’s long tenure with the ACLU, the organization has been involved in cases and controversies dealing with school vouchers, charter schools, religious practices in the public schools, abortion rights, the Terri Schiavo case as well as physician-assisted suicide, and numerous controversies involving freedom of speech.

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November 2017

Monday, November 13, 11:30 AM – 1 PM

Evan D. George
Born in Gainesville, Florida, Evan George is an attorney with over 12 years experience in immigration law. Since 2008, Mr. George has operated his own law office in Gainesville, Florida, dedicated solely to immigration and deportation defense. Mr. George is also the adjunct professor for the Immigration Law course at the University of Florida Law School. Previously, Mr. George spent three years in New York City focusing on asylum and deportation defense. Mr. George graduated from the University of Florida Law School (Cum Laude), where he concurrently completed a Master’s in Latin American Studies. Most importantly, Mr. George is a happy father of three awesome daughters (all 4 years and younger).

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December 2017

Monday, December 11, 11:30 AM – 1 PM

Mark Fenster
Is the government too secret or not secret enough? Why is there simultaneously too much government secrecy and a seemingly endless procession of government leaks? The Transparency Fix argues that we incorrectly assume that government information can be controlled. The same impulse that drives transparency movements—from activists who want stronger open government laws to the digerati who want open data—also drives secrecy advocates like Dick Cheney. They all hold the mistaken belief that government information can either be released or kept secure on command. And when released, both sides assume, this information will have a predictable effect: for transparency advocates, it will give us an authentic democracy and efficient government, while for secrecy advocates, it will make our nation less secure and prevent our government from functioning.

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January 2018

Monday, January 8th 11:30 AM – 1 PM

Rebecca Hale
Rebecca Hale was elected president of the American Humanist Association in 2013. She is co-owner of EvolveFISH.com, the popular online store of atheist, humanist, and pro-science merchandise, and co-founder of the Freethinkers of Colorado Springs.
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February 2018

Monday, February 12th 11:30 AM – 1 PM

Gary Edinger
Gary Edinger is a local attorney and a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association (FALA), a group of prominent attorneys responsible for litigating many important free speech cases. He is also active on the legal panel for the North Florida Chapter of the Florida ACLU.
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March 2018

Monday, March 12th 11:30 AM – 1 PM

Aaron Sharockman
Aaron Sharockman is the executive director of PolitiFact, the largest fact-checking organization in the United States. Aaron leads the growth and development of PolitiFact, manages its outreach and news partnerships, and oversees new initiatives and product development.
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April 2018

The Joseph L. Brechner Freedom of Information Award is an annual $3,000 cash award, sponsored by The Brechner Center. The award recognizes excellence in reporting about freedom of information, access to government-held information, or the First Amendment.
April 9 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Please register by Thursday, April 5th.

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