The Local Legal Initiative was active in Oregon through 2022, and is currently on pause.
Over the first two years, our Local Legal Initiative attorney Ellen Osoinach, was instrumental in helping The Oregonian obtain records about how much water Google uses to cool its data centers in the city of the Dalles. These records led Google to declare its water usage in any location would no longer be considered a trade secret.
Through the Local Legal Initiative, the Reporters Committee also helped a freelance journalist fend off a subpoena forcing her to testify about one of her sources, and advocated for the dismissal of all charges against April Fonseca Ehrlich — after the public radio journalist was arrested in 2020 while covering the police removal of houseless campers from a public park.
And in a high-profile gender-discrimination case, a federal judge in Oregon ordered Nike to unseal court records that shielded information about Nike’s pay practices. The order came after Osoinach intervened on behalf of three news organizations to bring transparency to the class action case brought by female Nike employees.