Making Democracy Work


Reports on Meetings of Local Governmental Bodies

What Is the Observer Corps?

WHAT IS THE OBSERVER CORPS? The history of the League's Observer Corps began in the 1960's: the Freedom of Information Act passed in 1966, followed by the Sunshine Act of 1976, followed by Sunshine Laws in individual states. These sunshine laws refer to openness in government in two distinct areas: citizen access to public records and access to public meetings. The premise behind these laws is that everyday people have the right to know what actions their government agencies are taking, to attend public meetings and have access to public documents. The League actively supports the citizens' right to know about its government and advocates for government transparency. Being an observer gives you the opportunity to represent the League in the community.

How Do We Do This?

One important way is through the Observer Corps. This is a structured way for League members to exercise these rights and to monitor our government. An Observer attends a governmental agency meeting, notes what happens at the meeting, and reports back to the League.

You can download and print a form to use for observations  HERE

  • Observers learn about the issues in the community and monitors how they are being addressed by the government.
  • Observers' notes are reported back to our League, so membership can learn from them.
  • Observers keep elected officials on notice, let them know someone is a witness to the decisions being made, and form relationships with officials that can be beneficial.
  • Observers attend the meetings to gain information. They do not make statements at the meeting.
  • A simple form is used to facilitate the notes being taken, so they can be shared with our League.

As you consider how you want to be involved in our League, consider the Observer Corps!

City of Wilmington

Brunswick County

New Hanover County