|Submitted||Dec. 17, 2016|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
Any and all materials relating to the Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas proclamation and initiative, which was three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, during which Texas governor Rick Perry asked that Texans pray for "the healing of our land [Texas]" and for an end to the drought, including the proposal, discussions about and drafts of the proclamation and any analysis of how it worked both in public relations terms and in terms of ending the drought. The drought continued to worsen for four months following the Days of Prayer. While only 15-17% of the state was undergoing exceptional drought by late April, the percentage grew to 50% a month later, and by late June, more than 70% of the state was experiencing exceptional drought conditions, a level at which it persisted until August 18, 2011. The first major rain in the state after the Days of Prayer came 168 days later on October 9, 2011.
Should these records no longer exist then I request any and all records confirming their destruction or transfer.
For your convenience, a copy of the proclamation may be found at this link https://web.archive.org/web/20110422201217/http://governor.state.tx.us/news/proclamation/16038/ or read below:
Gov. Perry Issues Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas
Thursday, April 21, 2011 • Austin, Texas • Proclamation
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME:
WHEREAS, the state of Texas is in the midst of an exceptional drought, with some parts of the state receiving no significant rainfall for almost three months, matching rainfall deficit records dating back to the 1930s; and
WHEREAS, a combination of higher than normal temperatures, low precipitation and low relative humidity has caused an extreme fire danger over most of the State, sparking more than 8,000 wildfires which have cost several lives, engulfed more than 1.8 million acres of land and destroyed almost 400 homes, causing me to issue an ongoing disaster declaration since December of last year; and
WHEREAS, these dire conditions have caused agricultural crops to fail, lake and reservoir levels to fall and cattle and livestock to struggle under intense stress, imposing a tremendous financial and emotional toll on our land and our people; and
WHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my Office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 21st day of April, 2011.
Governor of Texas
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.
December 30, 2016
VIA EMAIL ONLY
RE: OOG PIR # 16-418
Dear Mr. Best:
This email is in response to your public information request to the Office of the Governor (“OOG”), received by the OOG on December 19, 2016. A copy of your request follows this email.
The OOG has reviewed its files and located the attached information responsive to your request. The OOG has redacted private email addresses from this information pursuant to section 552.137 of the Government Code and the previous determination issued by the Open Records Division of the OAG in Open Records Decision No. 684 (2009). The OOG asserts the remaining responsive information is excepted from required disclosure under the Public Information Act. The OOG has requested a ruling from the Open Records Division of the Office of the Attorney General pursuant to Government Code § 552.301. A copy of the OOG’s arguments submitted to the Open Records Division is attached.
If you have any questions, please contact me at (512) 463-8470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistant General Counsel
Office of Governor Greg Abbott
The request has been rejected by the agency.