The nonprofit Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana won a national award for its “Sunshine Headquarters” from the Governmental Research Association. PAR Research Director and Lafayette native Alison Neustrom is the project manager for the initiative.
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Alison Neustrom

GRA is a national organization of individuals and groups who study and make recommendations on state and local policy issues. The award was presented during the annual GRA conference last week in Milwaukee, Wisc.

The GRA makes annual awards in three categories, with PAR winning the top award in the Most Effective Education category for its Sunshine Headquarters portal. The Most Effective Education Award recognizes research and educational activities designed to educate the public and public officials on governmental matters.

The goal of the Sunshine Headquarters is to educate residents on the Open Meetings Law, Public Records Law and Campaign Finance Law in Louisiana.

The Sunshine Headquarters portal was launched in March 2013 and can be accessed via PAR’s homepage here.

The portal provides a variety of tools, including educational materials, publications, interactive quizzes and current news related to sunshine laws. PAR also provides an updated Citizens Rights Card, available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. The site offers resources for newcomers to this topic and more seasoned professionals.

PAR received funding for the Sunshine Headquarters from the Open Society Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation through the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the IMPACT program at the Greater New Orleans Foundation. This project was done in conjunction with the New Orleans Coalition on Open Government.

This award is among the 37 PAR has received from the GRA for its research since the 1950s.

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