On June Thursday, June 20, 2019, First Amendment Coalition announces that it has received a $100,000 gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to support the organization’s work to defend free speech, the free press, and public participation in civic affairs. This generous and substantial commitment will enable FAC to continue to grow its programs and reach new audiences—work that is more important than ever in light of unprecedented threats to the First Amendment and the public’s right to know.
Craig Newmark, is the founder of craigslist.org and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. The gift from will support all of FAC’s programs, including its free Legal Hotline, its strategic litigation program, and its Subpoena Defense Initiative, which connects journalists with qualified pro bono counsel to defend them against subpoenas seeking confidential sources and notes.
“FAC is truly grateful to Craig Newmark Philanthropies for this generous gift, which will allow us to continue and expand our fight for speech and press freedoms, public access to government records and meetings, and civic engagement,” said FAC Executive Director David Snyder.
Also Craig Newmark said “A democracy can only thrive when the entire public participates, and is included, in a society, and that means we need people to be informed about what’s going on around them so that they can be thoughtful voters, citizens, and neighbors.”
“I’m proud to support the First Amendment Coalition as they protect American democracy.” Newmark concluded.
FAC’s work has grown recently, with the addition of a Legal Fellow program and the launch and expansion of its subpoena defense work, which includes free seminars for lawyers and journalists on how to respond to civil and criminal subpoenas to journalists. Most recently, FAC arranged for counsel to represent freelance journalist Bryan Carmody, who was subject to illegal search warrants, executed by San Francisco police officers, sparking national outrage from press advocates and others. FAC has also filed a motion to unseal the search warrants used in Carmody’s case, to allow the public to see where and how SFPD failed to recognize the critical protections of California’s journalist shield law. FAC also recently led the court fight in enforcing SB 1421, the state’s new landmark police transparency law, and, on the federal front, is suing the United States Department of Justice for access to records of its collection of journalist phone and email records.
About Craig Newmark Philanthropies:Craig Newmark Philanthropic supports public charities for trustworthy journalism, voter protection, women in technology, veterans and military families.
The trustworthy journalism priority focuses on efforts that promote the adoption of trustworthy journalism and on countering disinformation. While, voter protection priority focuses on defending the Fifteenth Amendment. This work includes voter registration, legislation and policy, and improvements to the electoral system. Women in technology priority focuses on national initiatives that are working to solve the gender gap in technology. Lastly, vets and military families priority focuses on efforts that help vets and their families from a broad, national perspective. For more information visit https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org/about-us/
About Craig Newmark:
Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer, philanthropist, speaker, and one of America’s most recognized nerds. In 1995 he founded craigslist, which to date has seen more than 5 billion classified ads posted. In 2012 he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. In 2016, he created the Craig Newmark Philanthropies, a private foundation to promote philanthropy and civic engagement. He was born in Morristown, New Jersey and received degrees in computer science from Case Western Reserve University. He now lives in San Francisco. For more information visit https://craignewmarkphilanthropies.org
About The First Amendment Coalition: The First Amendment Coalition is an award-winning, nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to advancing free speech, more open and accountable government, and public participation in civic affairs.
The mission of the First Amendment Coalition is to protect and promote freedom of expression and the people’s right to know. The Coalition is a non-profit, nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization serving the public, public servants, and the media in all its forms. Its constituency reflects an increasingly diverse society. The Coalition is committed to the principle that government is accountable to the people, and strives through education, public advocacy, litigation, and other efforts to prevent unnecessary government secrecy and to resist censorship of all kinds. (Board of Directors, August 18, 2008). For more information visit https://firstamendmentcoalition.rg