Well, lookee here. Fresh off the heels of another loss to us in court, @nycrecords took the time today to respond to one of our open FOIL requests for some microfilm records, which we would like to acquire, scan, and put online.
And we replied in turn: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/new-york-city-17/foil-request-for-four-sets-of-microfilmed-historical-records-111176/
*gets PTSD twitches from all the times angrily uninformed ladies in the certain genealogy FB groups screeched at us that our getting and publishing birth and death indices online was somehow a "HIPPA" violation*
Sorry for the semi radio silence about our latest legal win. We're waiting for final go/no-go from our attorneys about whether or not we should appeal our own win (!) specifically to try to squeeze our attorneys fees out of @nycrecords.
Puzzle currently driving me mad: Does any know *anything* about how alien numbers (USCIS#) are assigned? Especially the old 8 digit ones? I've started digging a bit, and it seems like they probably contain lots of implicit information about immigrant history (thread).
The Black Veterans Project and the National Veterans Council for Legal Redress submitted #FOIA requests to the @DeptVetAffairs for records concerning disability claims and race. @BlackVetProject filed suit after finding the agency's response insufficient.
@NathanDGoodwin Thanks for bringing this group to my attention - I've signed up for their newsletter. It's too bad governments think public records are commodities, but as long as that's true, we need people fighting for access.
RUN AND TELL THAT: USCIS IS ASKING FOR YOUR PUBLIC COMMENTS ABOUT THEIR PRICE GOUGINGHi records friends! Today we have a time-sensitive opportunity for you: a chance to tell a major federal government agency with millions of never-before-online historical records about how and why they can shape up and do better. If speed-kvetching about genealogy is your thing, now’s your chance!Here’s the super-short version of what’s going on and what you can do right now (like, today):www.recordsnotrevenue.comAnd here’s the super-long comment our organization has formally submitted to USCIS, to make the case for better public records access:www.reclaimtherecords.org/about/activism/uscis-genealogy-program/And here’s the much longer backstory, explaining what this is all about, in our latest newsletter!mailchi.mp/reclaimtherecords/run-and-tell-that-uscis-genealogy-program-public-commentsWe hope you’ll take the time to read all this, and to submit a comment to USCIS right away. You can submit your comment online, it won’t take long. Tell them how you feel about their agency holding millions of records hostage, records which ought to go to the National Archives.Public records belong to the public. And our shared American history is not the agency’s piggybank. Don’t delay, tell them today! … See MoreSee Less
RECLAIM THE RECORDS’ LONG-RUNNING LEGAL FIGHT TO OPEN 1.6 MILLION NYC DEATH CERTIFICATES MOVES FORWARD!Hello again from your friends at Reclaim The Records! Today we have an exciting update in our long-running legal battle to (1) acquire and then release to the public about 1.6 million currently-inaccessible NYC death certificates from 1949-1968, totally free, as uncertified digital scans that we want to put online, and (2) strike down some truly awful new rules that heavily restrict public access to twentieth century New York City vital records, even from some of the relatives of the people directly named in the records.This project originally started back in October 2017, when the City held a public hearing at which none of the people in attendance and none of the more than six thousand people nationwide who submitted public comments voiced support for the new and incredibly strict record access rules. But the City went ahead and approved the stricter rule change anyway.Well, that just wouldn’t do. So in February 2019, we sued them.And it was quite a long list of "them". The Respondents in our case include the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, the New York City Bureau of Vital Statistics; the New York City Board of Health; Oxiris Barbot in her official capacity as New York City Commissioner of Health; Gretchen Van Wye in her official capacity as New York City Registrar; and last but certainly not least, Steven P. Schwartz in his official capacity as former New York City Registrar.We had one court hearing in November 2019 and one in early 2020, before two different judges, facing off with the City over some of the issues. And then the pandemic struck, and things in the New York City court system understandably got put on hold for a while.But now, we’ve got some movement — and, you guys, we don’t want to jinx it, but it seems to be looking promising!Want to read the latest details, and links to all our court paperwork? (There’s a lot of it!) It’s all in our latest newsletter issue!And here it is:mailchi.mp/reclaimtherecords/our-legal-fight-to-open-1-point-6-million-nyc-death-certificates-mov…Fun fact: the 2019 National Genealogical Society conference, which was held in Washington DC, makes a special guest appearance in this one, helping us catch city government officials "astroturfing", or making up fake support for their policies! (See, those overpriced Fleetwood conference session recordings really do come in handy!)Come for the discussion of the City hypothetically suing local cemeteries for supposed privacy invasions, stay for the unexpected "Hamilton" references. Check out our news and let us know what you think! … See MoreSee Less
Reclaim The Records is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our EIN is 81-4985446. Contact us at [email protected]