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FOIA for Christmas!

FOIA for Christmas!

Logan Square Hack Night is a monthly civic engagement event to build, share & learn about civic tech in a local neighborhood instead of downtown!


On December 19th, Matt Chapman, will be hosting a presentation on how to submit FOIA requests for requesting information from our local, state, and federal governments. The presentation will focus largely on Illinois FOIA and will have a somewhat technical focus, but will be approachable for a non-technical audience as well. Please bring questions and FOIA stories!

Some topics that we will be covered in the presentation:

  • How to draft and submit a FOIA request at state and federal levels.
  • The appeals process for mishandled FOIA requests.
  • The sorts of problems that will be encountered along the way.
  • Strategies and tactics for requesting information.
  • Methods of requesting information in bulk.
  • The many resources available to help work through requests.

About the Speaker

Matt Chapman is the Executive Director of Free Our Info, a non-profit that seeks to teach the public how to submit public records request and advocate for the release of digital public records.

Prior to creating the non-profit, Matt has submitted several hundred requests and has learned many tricks of the trade and methods for requesting difficult-to-obtain information. Currently Matt is suing the White House OMB for obtaining email metadata and the Chicago Department of Finance to obtain the Chicago parking ticket system’s database schema.

Breakout Groups

People are invited to break off into groups and work on projects, discuss potential ideas, and share their skills. Members of the Chi Hack Night community will be on site to run several of their breakout groups.

Food will be provided, but feel free to bring food and drink potluck party style!

Agenda and meeting notes
Sponsor Second Shift