By now, you’ve all heard that Amazon is opening a second headquarters, and towns and states across the country are courting the tech giant for the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion Amazon is offering. But what are these places offering Amazon? And what does that mean for your town?
We want to know what every single city offered Amazon as incentive for the second headquarters. We’ve requested bids from a little over 100 places - that leaves another 100+ bids we don’t know about. That’s where you come in.
Matt Topic, a Chicago-based FOIA attorney, has taken on some of the biggest public records paces of the past few years, managing to win important precedent after precedent. He shares what he looks for when considering litigation, why public records matter, and how he accidentally fell into transparency law in the first place.
Despite reform efforts, state and local police are still teaming up with federal law enforcement to seize millions
In recent years many states have begun to to reform civil asset forfeiture, by either reducing the percentage of money police are allowed to keep, or reducing the number of situations in which assets are allowed to be seized. While some of these efforts have been more successful than others, a practice called Equitable Sharing continues to undercut these efforts and keep the worst excesses of police seizure alive.
This week there have been some great examples of the impact public records requests can have, including how a three-year fight for records ended up overturning a murder conviction, while another long-running transparency effort is leading to reforms in civil asset forfeiture in Illinois.
E. Coady sent this request to the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy of the United States of America