Florida Open Records Unity Movement

 Florida Open Records Unity Movement

The first organizational and planning meeting of FORUM took place at the Tallahassee/Leon County Library at 3:00 PM on Sunday, June 4th.  In attendance were Herm Chelette, Merle Barrett, and Patty Burns.

Areas of discussion were:

Our Goals:  The members in attendance were in agreement that our goal will be to obtain the requisite number of signatures on petitions in order to put the issue of open records on the ballot in 2001, seeking a constitutional amendment.  We will not limit ourselves by seeking only access to OBCs.

Our Interim Officers  

Regional Coordinators

Our Mailing List

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Organizational Structure - We will have an Executive Director, Director of Operations, Secretary/Treasurer, and a Board of Directors.  For the first 3 months of operation, we will have interim officers, who will serve until September 1st, when a election will be held, and permanent officers will be elected.  The Executive Director, Director of Operations, and Secretary/Treasurer will all be on the Board of Directors, as will our Regional Coordinators, who will handle organizational matters in their assigned area of the state of Florida.  Regions are yet to be determined.

Serving as interim officers are:        Herm Chelette - Executive Director,  Patty Burns - Director of Operations,  Merle Barrett - Secretary/Treasurer

Statement of Mission: Until such a time as a more permanent mission statement can be developed, our mission statement will be the text on the homepage of FORUM, which reads:  "Oregon led the fight for open adoption records in the United States. Alabama followed close behind. Both states have been victorious in their struggle to open records. The time is right. The tide is turning. Help us to educate the citizens of Florida to the fact that adoptees are denied basic rights that all others enjoy. Only adoptees are denied access to their own birth certificates. Please join us in working toward the common goal of allowing adult adoptees born in Florida access to all of the records pertaining to their adoption."

Meetings:  Future meetings will be held in the chat room for the FL_FORUM_2001 chatroom, with face to face meetings scheduled as necessary.

Incorporation:  The issue of whether or not it was necessary for us to incorporate was raised.  There are some legals benefits to incorporation.  Merle will do some investigations regarding the benefits of incorporation, and the decision about whether we need to do so will be discussed at a later date.

FORUM Address:  Merle will rent a post office box for FORUM, so that we have an address for snail mail to be directed to . 

Website:  Patty has started work on a FORUM website, to contain all pertinent information, and to give FORUM a web presence.  The website resides on Geocities, and was therefore free.  The URL for the website is http://www.oocities.org/fl_forum_2001/index.html

Mailing List:  Patty has set up a mailing list on Egroups called FL_FORUM.  This is an open list, and any interested party can subscribe by going to http://www.egroups.com/group/FL-FORUM  This list also has a chatroom which will be used for organizational meetings.

Email: FORUM now has a Yahoo email address, which is FL_FORUM_2001@yahoo.com.  Patty will look into whether Yahoo mail will send officers a notice of mail in that mailbox.

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