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National Register of Historic Places listings in Lynn, Massachusetts

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Location of Lynn in Massachusetts
Location of Lynn in Massachusetts

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Lynn, Massachusetts.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Lynn, Massachusetts, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in an online map.[1]

Essex County, of which Lynn is a part, is the location of more than 450 properties and districts listed on the National Register. Lynn itself is the location of 29 of these properties and districts, of which two are National Historic Landmarks.[2]

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted August 20, 2021.[3]
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

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NISBET: Get to your seats, and we're going to be calling the meeting to order in about 15 seconds, thank you. May I ask before we start? Who do we have on the phone? If you could just give me your first name so that we know you're there and who to look for. JOHNSON: This is Clay Johnson. BECKER: This is Andrew. MULVIHILL: This is Maggie Mulvihill from Boston University. BAHR: This is Dave Bahr from Eugene, Oregon. BECKER: And Andrew Becker calling from Washington State. NISBET: Great. Thank you. I think we've got one more member who's going to be calling in but we've just about got a full contingent. Thank you so much. BOSANKO: Good morning. I'm Jay Bosanko. I'm the chief operating officer at the National Archives, and it's my sincere pleasure to welcome you today on behalf of the archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, for this first meeting of the FOIA Advisory Committee. The National Archives has a unique role among federal agencies, which we often describe as preserving the past to protect the future. If you have time after today's meeting, I encourage you to explore the records we have on exhibit in our museum, including a fascinating display of the most interesting signatures in our holdings and the stories they tell. "Making Their Mark" is located in the O'Brien Gallery, and will be on display until January of 2015. As the nation's record keeper, NARA's role goes beyond preserving and displaying historical records. We also provide leadership on managing and organizing the records our government creates every day and making them retrievable through mechanisms like the Freedom of Information Act. The FOIA has provided the public with the right to access government records for nearly 50 years, and like anything that has been around for decades, FOIA continues to benefit from regular improvements, such as the types of legislative, executive, or policy improvements that this committee might suggest. It is important to note that FOIA administration and its process is not something that is or should be entirely government-run. It is a partnership between government agencies that implement the law and policies and the requesters who use the law and policies and can inform government where we can make improvements. We worked hard to convene a committee that is reflective of the broad array of audiences that it must serve. Your diverse backgrounds and interests will be essential to crafting a new and better future for this important program. We appreciate the opportunity to provide a home for this committee and look forward to sharing what we have learned through our work as you discuss the future of FOIA, and to learning from all of you as well. We want to thank you all for agreeing to serve on this committee. We know how valuable your time is, whether you traveled across town or across the country or are joining us on the phone today. Thank you for your service. Now I'd like to introduce somebody who to this group likely needs no introduction, Miriam Nisbet, the chair of the FOIA Advisory Committee. NISBET: Thank you, Jay. And good morning, everyone. We're really delighted to see such a nice turnout. We have quite a few people registered besides those who have already arrived. I think we might have a few more latecomers. So just a welcome to you all who are here. And we'll be continuing to see people come in, I expect. This is a very exciting time for FOIA. We are very pleased with this committee to be part of a process that certainly started before the last year or couple of years. Many of you have been involved for a very long time, interested in FOIA, making suggestions about improving FOIA, being part of the process through making requests, through processing requests, through looking at policies of the government. And this is a continuation of that. But very specifically, we are part of a process that relates directly to the U.S. government's National Action Plan for Open Government, for the Open Government Partnership. That is a plan the second version of which was announced last December. There were five commitments to improving the Freedom of Information Act. And this advisory committee was one of those five commitments. As Jay mentioned, the National Archives and Records Administration is really a natural home for an advisory committee that is studying looking at FOIA and making improvements to it. The Office of Government Information Services, which launched just about five years ago, fifth year anniversary coming up in September, has a mission to provide mediation services. Some of you have taken advantage of those services or will take advantage of them I hope. And also to review agency FOIA policies, procedures, and compliance, and recommend improvements. So it's really that mission, the mission of the National Archives, to provide access to government information, the core mission. The mission of OGIS really dovetails beautifully with the mission of this advisory committee. What I'd like to do is before we get any further to have everyone, all the members, introduce themselves. And I'm going to ask you to do that in a very brief way. If we had everyone explain their paths to this meeting today, their history with FOIA, I think that could take up a very good part of the meeting time. So what I'd like to do is ask for people to introduce themselves by their name, the position they currently hold, and certainly as our meetings go on remembering this is a two-year process I think people's connection with, their interest in, their experience with the Freedom of Information Act will come through through our discussions and our deliberations. Before we do that, I do want to just remind everybody we are being videotaped. And the recording as well as a transcript of the meeting will be available to the public hopefully within about a week. That will be available on the OGIS Web site where we have all of the meeting materials available, and so for people who are not going to be with us today they'll be able to follow our proceedings over the next several hours. So let's start with our members. I will note that we have two members, Delores Barber from the Department of Homeland Security, and Michele Meeks from the Central Intelligence Agency, who are not able to be with us today because of previous commitments. We're delighted that we have 18 of the 20 though here in person or on the telephone. So let me start with the people who are on the telephone and ask you to introduce yourselves. And I think if we just go in alphabetical order we would be starting with Dave Bahr. Are you there, Dave? BAHR: I am. Yes. Thank you. I'm sorry that I'm appearing by phone rather than there in person. I look forward to meeting you in person at some of the following meetings. But just very briefly. I am a lawyer. I represent requesters seeking information from the government either state or federal all around the country. And I hope that I can illuminate some of the issues and concerns that arise in that context in this process to try and make the FOIA operate better for all involved. NISBET: Thank you, Dave. Andrew Becker? I know you were there earlier. OK, we'll see if Andrew will -- I'm going to ask maybe one of our OGIS staff members to send an email or text to Andrew and see if we can get him back on the phone. Clay, I think you're next. Oh boy. JOHNSON: Sorry. Here I am. Can you hear me? NISBET: Great. Yes, we can. Good morning, Clay. JOHNSON: Sorry. I'm very studiously muting my cell phone because I'm at home with a sick two-year-old who desperately also wants to participate in the federal advisory committee and add. But I think I might be the only one who can understand him. I'm Clay Johnson. I'm with the Department of Better Technology and a big fan of everybody's work. Thanks very much for having me here. NISBET: Thanks, Clay, and thank you for that reminder. For people who are on the phone, if you could mute except for when you're talking, that would help. And welcome to Clay's two-year-old. I'm sure this is a good civics lesson. Maggie? MULVIHILL: Hi, everybody. Can you hear me? NISBET: Yes, we can. MULVIHILL: OK. Hi. My name is Maggie Mulvihill. And I'm a professor of journalism at Boston University. And I'm also a lawyer. I'm interested in how we teach FOIA at the higher education level and also how we use technology and data to look at how the federal government works. And really, I'm absolutely elated to be included. Thank you so much for having me. I look forward to meeting everyone. NISBET: Thank you, Maggie. And hopefully we'll have you in person at another, at a future meeting. MULVIHILL: Of course. NISBET: Do we have Ramona on the phone yet? OK. Ramona Oliver from the Department of Labor also is going to be calling in. She had a conflict that did not allow her to be here in person. And hopefully we will hear from her before long. So let's start with those at the table and I'm going to ask Jim Hogan and then we'll just go around the table here. HOGAN: I'm Jim Hogan with the Department of Defense, Freedom of Information Policy Office. MCCALL: Hi. I'm Ginger McCall with the Electronic Privacy Information Center. I'm associate director of EPIC and director of EPIC's open government project. REED: I'm David Reed. I'm assistant chief financial officer at the Federal Communications Commission. WHITE: I'm Lee White. I'm the executive director of the National Coalition for History. PUSTAY: Melanie Pustay. I'm the director of Office of Information Policy at Department of Justice. GILLESPIE: I'm Eric Gillespie and I'm the CEO of a company called Govini. NISBET: Miriam Nisbet, National Archives. JONES: Nate Jones, National Security Archive, which is a non-government FOIA requester. FINNEGAN: Hi. I'm Karen Finnegan. I'm deputy chief of a division at the State Department that handles FOIA policy and FOIA litigation. ZAID: Mark Zaid. I'm an attorney here in DC and the executive director of the James Madison Project. MICHALOSKY: Hi. I'm Marty Michalosky. I'm the FOIA manager at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. WEISMANN: Anne Weismann. I'm chief counsel at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. GOTTESMAN: And Larry Gottesman, the agency FOIA officer at the Environmental Protection Agency. NISBET: And I'm just going to mention that Kirsten Mitchell, who is at the end of the table to Larry's right, is a staff member with the Office of Government Information Services. And she is going to be taking notes this morning to help us fill out the record of this meeting. So Kirsten doesn't have a microphone over there. But thank you, Kirsten, for being willing to be our notetaker. And again welcome to those of you who have arrived. We are delighted to have you here at the first meeting of the FOIA Advisory Committee. So let me take a few minutes to talk about some ground rules, some housekeeping, some expectations, if I could. So now that we're all gathered, I do want to let you know that we're going to take a break at some point. We will take a 15-minute break. We're going to be aiming for doing that at around 11:20. So just slightly more than an hour from now. And we will have people who can help point you to the cafe, which is two levels down, in case you want to grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. There are restrooms on that level as well. And there are also restrooms available to you at one level down, where you entered this morning on the ground level. There are restrooms in the research room, and you are free to use those as well. I mentioned before all the materials for this meeting are available on the OGIS Web site. There is a handout. I'm seeing the handout in people's hands. So just note that on that handout is the URL for the OGIS Web site where the committee materials are housed and will be housed as we go along. We will be having meetings up to four times a year and we have picked some tentative dates to roughly correspond with the date of this first meeting. So we've aimed for the Tuesday of the third week in every three months from now. We have listed those dates on the handout and provided them to the committee members. We know that not everyone is going to be able to make every single one of those dates. But we'll do the best we can. And hopefully by having them ahead of time you can mark those dates out. If you are looking for them and not seeing them in your materials, we will get them to you after the meeting. The next meeting is going to be October 21st. So that one for sure, please, if you could make a note of that. But we will give you all of those dates. By the way, I'm referring to, and you will see, that the members of the committee have a binder in front of them. The materials are pretty much those that have already been made available through the Web site. But the entire binder in electronic form will be available hopefully by the end of today. We were having technical difficulties yesterday. But we have the National Action Plan, a few related materials, the text of the Freedom of Information Act, a compilation of OGIS recommendations to improve FOIA, which is part of our mission. We have the charter for this committee. We have a number of documents related to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, including the final rule issued by the General Services Administration. We have a committee membership list and biographies. Those again are available on the Web site. And then we have the agenda and logistics materials for today. So no mystery there. That's what's in the binders. What I'm realizing that may not be in the binders yet is the information on the handout that has the tentative future meeting dates. So look no further. We will get those to you when we have our break, members. We are going to be drafting and developing bylaws for the committee. That is a task that the committee will need to turn to, mainly to flesh out some of the operating procedures such as are already laid out in the charter. And we will be working on that. Just a reminder. I don't probably need to remind anybody of this. But because we're dealing with the Freedom of Information Act, our interest is very strongly that of making sure not only that we have an open meeting, but the materials and the way we operate are as transparent and open as we possibly can. I think that we have a number of people who have been following the setting up of the committee who are very interested in the proceedings. And between the committee members themselves who are dedicated to this process and those of you who are going to be contributing in other ways, I'm sure that if there's any way in which we are not as open as we need to be, you will not let us down, you will let us know. And we will hear you and try and rectify that. But just do know that we are trying to do that, but for those of us -- none of us on the committee have previously served on a federal advisory committee. And we are learning a bit as we go. It's an interesting process. Also, we are working on developing a collaborative workspace. We haven't quite got that down yet. But we're trying to do that. That's something that would need to be open to all the members. There are some difficulties we found with agencies not necessarily using the most up-to-date information technology so that -- I know that's a shock. David Reed for example from the FCC has started the process of trying to set up a collaborative workspace for us. David, thank you for that. I don't think we have it up. And not necessarily is everyone able to access. I think it was going to be a Google -- REED: I put it up as a straw man just to play with and see what's going to meet our needs. NISBET: We're working on that. So we'll keep everybody informed on that. And of course, we're going to want to listen to those of you who are in the room. We have set aside a portion of the meeting at the end to get public comments. But I know that also you will not hesitate to talk to any of us, to talk amongst yourselves, to talk to your colleagues. And we want to hear the good ideas that all of you have. A reminder again. This is a two-year effort. We're not necessarily going to be able to identify every single thing that we want to look at or every single issue today. Certainly not solve all of those problems. But we're going to make a start, and I think we can make a lot of progress pretty quickly. So what we're going to be doing today is starting with -- we're going to be moving into the next part of our meeting with a brainstorming session. We're going to be looking at various projects that we might consider, and then we're going to be selecting three projects that we are going to focus on. That is going to be an interesting process. We're going to be led in that by Lynn Overmann, who is a senior adviser at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. And I am as curious as you are to see how that works and what we come up with. So, Lynn. OVERMANN: Good morning, everyone. NISBET: Good morning. I'm going to turn it over to you. OVERMANN: So I'm very pleased to be here today. This is actually something that we do very frequently in the Office of Science and Technology Policy as it's a way that we can really get everybody creatively brainstorming, identify ideas that you have, but not only -- what we see with this is what's really great is oftentimes you all have very similar and overlapping ideas that we can identify through this process, and we like literally put them up on these boards, and then we have you vote. And what we've learned from that is it can help people in recognizing commonalities, see where -- MULVIHILL: Excuse me. This is Maggie from Boston. I'm sorry. I can't hear. OVERMANN: Apologies. And really come up with some great projects that people are very enthusiastic about. So we have a few tools of the trade that are actually right in front of you. You have a sticky pad. You have a Sharpie. And what we're going to ask you to do first -- I'll go over the whole process, and then we'll start with the brainstorming. The first step that we will do is we're going to ask you to brainstorm ideas, at least three each, but you can do more if you're feeling energetic this morning, and the only framework we want you to keep in mind is, if you can, try to bucket them into these three different steps. Process, policy, and legislative. You may have one or more ideas that cross the boundaries there. If that's the case, iif you could write each idea on two separate stickies so that we can put them up. What we're going to do at the end is we will physically place your stickies here and group them. And then we'll vote at the end. So those four red stickers are the stickers that you will use to vote on the ideas that you like the best. You can use all four on one idea if you think it's particularly genius. You can use one per each, whatever it is that you want to do. So we're going to give you 10 minutes. You can either write your ideas out, or if you're particularly artistic, you can draw them. Some people like to do that. I am a terrible artist so I tend to write. And I also have terrible handwriting. So ideas that you think fit into this that would be your top suggestions to improve the FOIA process, policy, or legislative fixes that you think are required. We'll give you 10 minutes to do that. At the end of 10 minutes we'll come back and ask each of you to do a rapid pitchout of your ideas and we'll see what we come up with. So we're going to go ahead and start right now. And if anyone has any questions now is the time to ask. All right, great, go ahead. JOHNSON: How would you like for us on the phone to participate in this part? OVERMANN: I apologize. I forgot about the folks on the phone. Folks on the phone, especially the one with the two-year-old, have him do your drawing for you. But if you just want to go ahead and write down your ideas or figure out, we'll ask you to share them on the phone, and then perhaps someone here can actually just jot them down on a sticky pad for us. Then we can make sure that we include your ideas on the boards as well. JOHNSON: OK. So we should write them down now and then someone will ask us about our ideas later? Is that the plan? OVERMANN: Exactly. NISBET: Yes, that is what we will do. So you are thinking and writing for the next 10 minutes. JOHNSON: I'm always thinking and writing. OVERMANN: And you can use crayons if you want. NISBET: Yes. And the instructions are you can use crayons if you'd like. JOHNSON: Perfect. OVERMANN: Three-minute warning, everyone. I know 10 minutes feels like a long time. Right? NISBET: Did we have somebody join on the phone in the last few minutes? BECKER: That was me, Andrew Becker. NISBET: Oh, Andrew, great, we're glad to have you back. BECKER: I'm just having some technical difficulties with my Internet connection. NISBET: Well, hang in there. And did you hear the instructions about coming up with some ideas for improving FOIA? BECKER: Yes. And the 10 minutes are almost up. NISBET: OK, thank you. OVERMANN: All right. Time is up. Going to have my colleague Cori, who you all know, who's leading our open government efforts, be our runner. So who should we pick on first? Should we start on this end? Of course start on the opposite end from where Cori is. Start with your first idea. We'll go through. GOTTESMAN: Something I've been advocating for. Uniform fees for FOIA processing. OVERMANN: And which bucket would that go in? Does it require legislation? Or is that a policy? GOTTESMAN: I don't know. What do you think? It's probably both. Because I guess OMB could say that the fees across the board are "X" because they do have the guide. ZAREK: What else we got? GOTTESMAN: Second one, some uniform regulations. Be nice if the public had one set of regulations. That's policy, clearly policy. Third one clearly legislation, those of us know we have 20 working days to process requests. Some requests are probably easily processed in 20 days. Some of these requests, if it takes us six months to process the public is happy. However, the statute says we have 20 days to process. Maybe some way of saying simple request maybe 20 days, if it's a complex request maybe 60 days, I'm just throwing numbers out. And the last one, which you probably all guess. Some kind of consolidated FOIA portal, location, repository, someplace for the public to go one place and submit the request, agency process the request, and receive their records electronically. OVERMANN: That's a popular one I can tell you already. ZAREK: Excellent. All right. Anne. WEISMANN: OK. First study of agency FOIA backlogs, cause, effect, solutions. OVERMANN: That sounds like policy. Right? ZAREK: Process. WEISMANN: I think it's probably both. But I'll leave that to you. Harnessing technology government-wide, what's available, how can it best be used. OVERMANN: That sounds like process and also related to the single portal but not exactly the same. WEISMANN: Related to fee policy, evaluating and fixing it. That's probably legislative, just like Larry said. I took the liberty of doing a couple extras. OK. Developing cross-training for agency FOIA personnel and requesters. That would be process. And building in a permanent role for requesters in formulating FOIA policy, that would be policy. OVERMANN: All right. Moving on. MICHALOSKY: All right. So I have technology for process, specifically even searching. We talk about emails and we've heard about emails. So things like that. So how do we leverage technology to do that efficiently, effectively, and quickly? I think this is policy, but agency training and education. Not just FOIA professionals but every employee. How do people respond to FOIA? Usually not very well. "I have to do this. Do I really have to do it? What do I need to do?" But understanding what is FOIA and what do they have to do. OVERMANN: Do you think policy or process? MICHALOSKY: I think it's policy because I can talk about it all day long but I need a little bit more than just my words so to speak. And then I have more oversight. I think this is probably -- I don't know if it's policy or legislative. But more oversight, expanding DOJ's role, and OGIS's role. But also audits. Being more proactive. Are agencies doing what they're supposed to? And be consistent versus just the annual report. OVERMANN: I'm going to put this along the edge between these two. All right. ZAID: OK. I've got increasing and/or restoring public confidence in the system, particularly through enhanced communication between the agencies and requesters. Some agencies are fantastic, some agencies after doing this even for 20 years won't return my damn phone call. Policy. OVERMANN: I feel like that's related. ZAID: Process. OVERMANN: I think that's related to an earlier suggestion on cross-training for -- OK. ZAID: One of the things we always hear is it's easy for us as lawyers to file our own FOIA lawsuits. Doesn't sway me in the slightest. But for most people who use it litigation is very expensive and difficult and not something they know. So creation of an independent authority that can adjudicate the disputes between the agencies administratively. And it could just be giving more teeth to OGIS the way some countries have actual ombudsmen. OVERMANN: That sounds like policy and it seems related to -- ZAID: Policy, maybe legislative too. OVERMANN: So we'll put it in this little corner here. Oversight and independent authority. ZAID: The third one is somewhat of an echoing of what we've heard already. Enhancement of the online capabilities such as tracking progress. OVERMANN: Excellent. Feel like there are going to be a few stickies in that space. OK. Moving on. FINNEGAN: OK. My first one is to develop an avenue to access immigration records that is outside FOIA and/or simplify the FOIA process to access these records. Because there's several departments that deal with huge numbers of requests for these records. OVERMANN: Do you think that's policy or process? A little bit of both? FINNEGAN: Yeah, I think it is. I think more policy. But -- OVERMANN: We'll put it here. OK. FINNEGAN: I also have build a stronger bridge between FOIA and records management and mandate annual training in both areas for federal employees. OVERMANN: Excellent. That matches this. OK. FINNEGAN: And then I have create standard performance criteria for federal employees that address FOIA and records management responsibilities. OVERMANN: Excellent. I feel like that's a little between more oversight and consistent agency training. OK. JONES: All right. I took your mandate and ran with it. So I have aim for one year max for every request. That's a good rule of thumb. One way to do that -- OVERMANN: Do we want to put that in legislative related to the -- JONES: I would say process but it might bleed in. One way to do that is to improve the referral process. Some of our 20-year-old request are 20 years old because of the referral process. Increase discretionary releases. Everyone talks about it. I'd like to see it happen more. That includes (b)(5) exemptions and the ODNI actually said a quote at the Sunshine Week that said, "Not can we withhold but should we?" Like to see that used more. OVERMANN: Excellent. That sounds -- JONES: I'll let you decide. Policy I guess, sure. I have reduced fee animosity like Larry was talking about. I'm outside the government. I can say that. OVERMANN: We said that that was crossing both so I'll put that one on the policy side. JONES: Something that we've kicked around a long time is litigation review. And we think there are some FOIA cases in the courts right now that could be dismissed. The memo yesterday. The Department of Justice to their credit said, "We're not going to appeal, we're going to release it." But they could have done that earlier in our opinion. I would say that's probably policy. OVERMANN: Yeah. I think that's in the cloud of the oversight, independent authority, and proactive. JONES: And then related to that I would also say get Department of Justice, not OIP, the civil division, to think long and hard before defending FOIA withholdings. So maybe have tougher discussions with agencies saying, "We're not going to withhold that or we're not going to defend that in court. You have to release it." Or maybe tie in OGIS. And then last, sorry, guys. Post exponentially more FOIA releases online and move it so that the default is posting the releases online. OVERMANN: Excellent. And from the perspective of our chief technology officer, I would just caveat this with making it machine-readable so it's easier to search and people can pull and share as they please. NISBET: I'm going to add another to reforming. I put the word reform. I'm not sure if that's the right one. For fees and fee waivers. OVERMANN: Excellent. NISBET: And this is a crazy one but revise the statute in plain writing. I feel like this is going to get a lot of votes. I don't know. Just a thought. On the process side I think this fits in with some of the others. But building accessibility into IT procurement. And that would work for FOIA and for records management issues. So a little bit related. JOHNSON: That's crazy talk. NISBET: I'm sorry. JOHNSON: I was just saying procurement reform is crazy talk. This is Clay Johnson. NISBET: Maybe I have a buddy on that. Another one that's legislative but could be policy is reducing and clarifying Exemption 3 statutes, which are the statutes that prohibit release of information. Here's a process one. Having some sort of a triage system at agencies for tasking searches so that records are not disposed of or lost while pending in a queue. OVERMANN: Interesting. Do you think that's policy or process? NISBET: It's both probably. And this one I guess is process, which is standardizing FOIA Web sites. And I just do want to mention, and I know you all are aware of this, but I want to say it in case people are not. Remember I mentioned in the beginning in the introduction that this advisory committee is one of a number of initiatives under the Open Government National Action Plan of the US government. And some of the things that have been mentioned are projects that are under way. Having a common rule or regulation, having one consolidated Web site for making requests. So those are things that I think everybody recognizes. And training as well. Those are all in the works. GILLESPIE: So I think my three are process. I'm going to pile on with the single point of access and a central repository that's searchable. Architectural standards for data and documents. Including machine-readability. OVERMANN: Yay. Thank you. GILLESPIE: And then lastly establishing a set of metrics and benchmarks that track transparency and the efficacy of the process so that there's visibility into how agencies are performing and how requesters are requesting. OVERMANN: Excellent. PUSTAY: My first one is improving the ability of agencies to proactively post information by simplifying or possibly modifying Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act to make posting easier. OVERMANN: Legislative? PUSTAY: That's probably legislative. And then improving the ability of the public to gain access to proactively disclosed information by greater utilizing metadata tagging. OVERMANN: These are all words we love. PUSTAY: And then building on that even more improving both the quantity and the quality of what is proactively disclosed by moving beyond FOIA offices and having greater engagement across the agency. And then my last one is expanding the use of IT tools to help agencies achieve greater efficiencies in actual processing of records. OVERMANN: That actually sounds a little different from the portal piece, right? PUSTAY: Yes. It's more tools for the processing. OVERMANN: It's more for agencies. Right? Great. WHITE: I'm embarrassed because mine are somewhat parochial and the word historian is in a lot of them. OVERMANN: We need those perspectives. WHITE: Well, yeah. One would be to aggregate FOIA requests by topic to identify subjects that can be prioritized for processing and release. So if the Department of Energy is getting FOIA requests on one topic and if you had somewhere to track them by subject area. OVERMANN: That actually -- that's the metadata. WHITE: I don't know if that's a dream. But some agencies have history departments, not a lot of them, but they do. But FOIA offices at agencies with history offices should engage them and seek advice on requests. So again they can help out with maybe finding the records faster than if it's just done haphazardly. And the other one would be to have your office, OGIS, work closely with the National Declassification Center to develop processes to expedite declassification. OVERMANN: Excellent. Thank you. REED: I have one that clusters with the suggestions regarding metadata. This is to design record systems for easier and more accurate redaction. And I say this is actually broader than metadata and automated systems. I think it extends even to the design of paper forms, which unfortunately a lot of agencies are still using. That we should be looking every time we set up a record for what are we going to do when the time comes to release it, have we determined what is or isn't releasable. I have two that cluster I guess with the suggestions about oversight. One is to improve the accuracy of agencies' FOIA work hour reports. I don't think we actually have good information about how much time is spent processing responses. And then the second is to audit a sample of FOIA responses for proper disclosure. Right now in general we just rely on respondents' protests, appeals, as quality control. But A, respondents don't always have the resources to appeal, and B, there are some mistakes that respondents don't have an incentive to appeal. So we should be doing our own quality control. OVERMANN: Excellent. Thank you. REED: And then finally just adding a vote to all the previous suggestions with regard to proactive disclosure. The public should be able to see what the government's records are without the requester or the agency going through the expense and delay of a FOIA request. The information in general should just be out there for people to look at. OVERMANN: All right. Onward. MCCALL: This one is a policy suggestion. Proactively disclose popular classes of documents. For instance contracts, congressionally mandated reports. Use an audit either of a year's worth of FOIA requests or six months' worth of FOIA requests to identify what are popular document sets. And then prioritize those for proactive disclosure. This one is legislative. Legislate for more funding or shift funding internally within the agency to give FOIA offices more resources to hire and invest in new technology. Aiming for the stars here. And while we're at it, while we're aiming high and being aspirational, a legislative fix, I think. A (b)(5) exemption balancing test of foreseeable harm of disclosure versus the public interest in disclosure. Another legislative fix here to create a unique identifying phrase that allows advocates and interested parties to identify and track (b)(3) bills as they move through Congress. This is a process. OVERMANN: You can do a hashtag. MCCALL: Yes, that would be nice. This is a process or policy suggestion. Greater outreach, especially via phone and email, to requesters to work with them on ways to narrow requests. I think this would help to whittle down the backlog, get more things into the simple track instead of the complex track. And another policy fix or potentially legislative. Presumptively include all IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organizations as educational or noncommercial requesters for favored fee status. HOGAN: Well, since I was at the end I knew there would be no white space left up there after this group. So I only have three. JOHNSON: You're not even the end. Remember the people on the phone. NISBET: We are not going to forget you. HOGAN: I'm at the line actually, not virtually. First is legislative. It's been mentioned several times. Revise or eliminate fees at least for noncommercial requesters. Look at seriously what we have there. Commercial requesters, let them keep paying. The next one in between policy and process. Promote more agency interaction between FOIA and open government slash transparency offices. In the DOD we're right now planning, and hopefully within the next six months, have my office in the same office with transparency open government. But that's not true at all agencies. And for those of us in FOIA our mandate is what the FOIA is. Proactive disclosure is not part of what we do necessarily. So some kind of direction to get agencies interacting more in that regard. And the last one I have is policy moving into process. And building on what Ginger said about proactively disclosing contracts. Part of the problem is we don't have a process to determine what is commercially confidential or not. You have Executive Order 12600 if a request comes in. But you have no other process. If you say, "OK, I got a contract going to proactively disclosed, to deal with line item." So some kind of process that is developed that can facilitate proactive disclosure of items in contracts. That's all I have. OVERMANN: Great. All right. So we'll turn to the folks on the phone. I'm going to need someone in the room who writes quickly and neatly. Cori. Excellent. So we will be taking down your ideas and we will be putting them up on our ever filling boards here. NISBET: So why don't we start with Dave? BAHR: All right. Thanks. Everybody is -- my whiteboard in my mind has been filled in by all the great suggestions. But one thing I haven't heard is actually the first one on my list, which is to increase the culture of professionalism for non-Beltway FOIA staff. For those of us out in the hinterlands that's the big issue. Somebody else mentioned providing teeth for OGIS, which I heartily endorse. Great folks that don't have any mechanism to actually make the agencies do anything. And somebody else also mentioned -- I think the term was to reduce fee animosity, which I love. That's a big issue for the requesters. And I would like to highlight that. ZAREK: Put plus one next to that. OVERMANN: Great. Is that all? BAHR: Yes. That's it. OVERMANN: Excellent. Other phone representatives? NISBET: How about Andrew? I think we're going to stick with alphabetical. BECKER: Sure. I also have to echo a lot of suggestions pertaining to the machine-readability, the standardization. So I'll throw out a couple of ideas. One would be a process. I think this falls under customer service type of thing. Better mechanism for communicating with FOIA offices. Specifically have -- better communication, if there's issues around things of that nature. NISBET: Andrew, this is Miriam. I'm sorry to interrupt you. But you're breaking up a little bit. Is it your connection? Or is there any way you could -- thanks. BECKER: It is probably my connection. Is that better? ZAREK: I think we captured it. NISBET: We're good. Continue. BECKER: Sure. This is under legislative. I would say more oversight. DOJ role having more. And then finally this could probably -- policy. Transparency in the full FOIA, in the handling of FOIA in terms of who, what, how, and why are things searched internally. The requester can be sure that whatever records he/she is seeking there's been a thorough search and there's accountability in that search. NISBET: And Andrew, I think it wouldn't hurt for you to maybe send those. If you would just send those to us in writing as well because you were breaking up there. BECKER: Sure. Happy to. NISBET: Thanks. Clay. JOHNSON: Hi there. So I've got three ideas. The first one is legislative but it's really just follow-on to do something with 508 compliance. My idea would be a three-year 508 exemption for FOIA documents. Generally think stuff a bit older is almost impossible to ensure 508 compliance. Some of the stuff that's pre-Internet especially. So coming up with some way to get FOIA documents outside of the 508 stuff is important. The second one is probably the only idea that hasn't come up yet, which is standard redaction technology. It seems like redaction, especially of personally identifiable information, is one of the big holdups around this stuff. And so developing -- I know my firm, we work a lot with open data stuff. When I was director at Sunlight Labs we worked a lot with open data stuff. And we made it relatively cheap to scan documents and identify Social Security numbers in a bunch of PDFs and redact that personally identifiable information. So I think that that kind of technology needs to be encouraged. Develop a centralized -- government -- speaking of centralized inside of government, my third thing is -- and I'm probably going to take a radical approach here -- I will probably be the only person on this committee that vehemently opposes a centralized repository of FOIA documents with a singular search interface, because I think that the federal government historically has a really bad track record of developing centralized portals of that regard. And we can see from or or I could spend all day listing off those centralization efforts and how they failed. And instead what we should be aiming for is a standard set of FOIA protocols that are vendor requirements. A bunch of open APIs that are well documented that are vendor requirements -- that are implementing FOIA technology inside of agencies. And if those APIs are developed right then we will have all kinds of central repositories and the FOIA request can go to the right place. And the FOIA responses can be indexable, crawlable, and findable. Especially and specifically for the public where they search for the most, which isn't on, it's on Google. So I think we in this committee need to not think how do we invent Google but for FOIA but instead think about how do we get FOIA documents into Google. And so there's a set of protocols now -- service requests into government called Open311. And so I'd like to see an Open311 set of protocols but for FOIA developed. So those would be my three. OVERMANN: Is that everyone? OK. NISBET: Maggie. OVERMANN: Oh. Sorry. One more. MULVIHILL: Hi. I guess I'll start with policy. I don't know if I'm the only person who's representing higher education full-time. But since I teach FOIA and since it's an interesting process to teach students what their rights are, number one, and that they should be aggressively asking for government information, I'd like to see more either student representation or student input into this whole process. Since we're training the next generation of journalists and policy makers and educators. I'm not really sure whether or not any students applied for these positions. I'd like that. But how we can use universities and secondary schools to promote open government. It's important to me. Whether or not at some point we should have a FOIA MOOC or some sort of online education module to come out of this committee would be interesting. That was my idea about policy. Including the student component into it somehow. On process, I'm probably just repeating what other people have said, but the elimination of paper, as simply as I can state it. I recently got some documents from a year after I filed a FOIA request, federal government paper documents. And the elimination of paper is something that I struggle with all the time as both a working journalist and as a teacher. And again given the open source tools and the codes, possible code that could be written to get some of these records. For example, I have a computer science student at BU right now who's been scraping state Web sites fairly easily. And I just think that there can be some better ways the technology can be integrated into the whole FOIA process, getting records. So I'd like to talk more about that. And then on legislative oversight, I'd be curious to know what we could do from this committee top down to educate state lawmakers about FOIA. I'm just speaking from Massachusetts, which does not have strong public records law. In fact probably one of the worst according to the Center for Public Integrity's state integrity study that was done last year, which my students and I did the reporting on, and we got an F in open government issues in Massachusetts. And I would like to see more education of state lawmakers on the meaning of open government and how the federal government is dealing with this i.e., this committee. And then I would also just on oversight -- it would be -- someone mentioned earlier the cost of denying access. I would like to see at some point a quantification of -- whether this could be an ongoing quantification of the cost to prevent access to records. If there's any way that we could assess how much the government is spending to deny records, whether it's an assessment of how much costing for a lawyer to do redactions or paying outside counsel. But it would be really helpful I think to look at this in terms of money spent. Probably a very big project, but I would be curious to see it. I mean in Massachusetts for example we tried to look at government spending on sealing records in federal court. And we weren't able really to get the information, which I can -- another time. But numbers and I'd like to see what those are at some point. So that's it. NISBET: Thank you, Maggie. OVERMANN: All right. So we have everyone's input. I did my best to cluster them because I want to just walk through the clusters of ideas that I think we've all heard as we've gone through the process. And this way if you want to vote on a broad cluster as opposed to a specific idea you can put your dots in the middle of them. I'm going to caveat at the beginning. Miriam pointed out that there are some projects that are already under way that it may not make sense for you guys to take on as an independent project. But be sure that this committee is informing those projects. That would be the online portal, so I tried to cluster the things, the suggestions that were made that I think fall pretty squarely into that spot. And the uniform regulations. So I think it may make sense to set those aside so that you guys can focus on things that aren't already under way, obviously recognizing we want your input on that. So just to clarify the voting process. You all have your four stickers. You all get to vote. The top three projects are going to be the projects that you all will then brainstorm further on and take on as the projects that you'll move forward with. So actually you guys did a fantastic job. A lot of these really clustered in topic areas that were really interesting. A lot of energy around proactive disclosure and a lot of really great suggestions about ways that that could be improved. There were some really interesting notions on IT tools specifically for the government. I heard this in two different ways. One for the internal processing and efficiencies within government. And then also how that can be used externally as well for people to more easily search, prioritize, and get the information out to the public in a way that makes more sense and is a lot easier to access. Heard a lot of really -- there's a lot of energy around fees. We ended up putting it on both sides but we can just pick whichever one you want. If you want to vote, I suggest that we vote one fee project and then figure out how that could cross both legislative and policy. A lot of heat and energy around more oversight and figuring out where that should land, if it should be OGIS, if it should be DOJ, but a more formal oversight authority that would cross the federal government. But then related but I think pretty separate is also how we can increase metrics, transparency, auditing, and accountability within government so that we're tracking our programs, making sure that they're actually doing what we think they're supposed to do, and figuring out how we can improve them. There was also an internal agency focus on training and increasing communication, understanding, and FOIA as a cross-agency issue as opposed to just FOIA offices and the open government advocates. And then there was a lot of energy around figuring out ways that we can more effectively communicate with the requester community, both on the policy side of the shop but also in the process of requests, so that we can try to eliminate or narrow them down in a way that makes the most sense. So we clustered those together. There were a few that were individual. And I think the legislative ones by their very nature -- I'm sorry -- were a little bit more independent. So I left those separate. And another thing just I can confess as a lawyer. I found the litigation review actually, I thought that that was worth its own little bucket. It may make sense to fold that in either on the accountability side, perhaps on the oversight side. So it could fit, but I do think this proactive notion of taking a hard look both at the cases that are currently in the court and also ones that we're contemplating defending could be a really interesting piece as well. So now what we're going to ask you to do is take those precious four red dots. PUSTAY: Could I just say one thing? One other National Action Plan commitment that you didn't mention at the beginning that we are already working on is training. So a whole training series of modules for FOIA professionals and none so that there are actually -- that needs to be in the same category as the regs and the consolidated. OVERMANN: Excellent. All right. So I'm going to pull out -- the only one that I think doesn't solidly fit in the training is more ongoing interaction between FOIA and open government transparency offices. So I'll put that up here. So great. So we already have things that are in process that we can inform. So if you could go ahead and vote then we will ZAREK: So 20 minutes to vote and take a break. NISBET: How do the people on the phone get to vote? ZAREK: They can let us know what they vote for. NISBET: All right. ZAREK: They can email Christa. NISBET: So for those of you on the phone if you could send an email to Christa and let her know how you want to vote, we will take that. OVERMANN: Great. So you'll have 20 minutes. You just physically walk up and place your stickers where you want. And then is the break built into that 20 minutes? Great. So the faster you vote, the longer time off you have. NISBET: So that means that we will take a break and come back here at 11:35. That's a little more than 15 minutes. But 11:35. Good? OK.

Current listings

[4] Name on the Register[2] Image Date listed[5] Location Description
1 Capitol Diner September 22, 1999
431 Union St.
42°27′48″N 70°56′40″W / 42.463210°N 70.944335°W / 42.463210; -70.944335 (Capitol Diner)
part of the Diners of Massachusetts Multiple Property Submission (MPS)
2 Central Square Historic District December 10, 1985
Central Sq., Munroe, Union, and Willow Sts.
42°27′50″N 70°56′44″W / 42.463889°N 70.945556°W / 42.463889; -70.945556 (Central Square Historic District)
3 Diamond Historic District October 10, 1996
Roughly bounded by Broad, Lewis, Ocean Sts., Swampscott Line, Lynn Shore Dr., and Wave and Nahant Sts.
42°27′38″N 70°55′58″W / 42.460556°N 70.932778°W / 42.460556; -70.932778 (Diamond Historic District)
4 Mary Baker Eddy House January 13, 2021
8 Broad Street
42°27′50″N 70°56′06″W / 42.464°N 70.9351°W / 42.464; -70.9351 (Mary Baker Eddy House)
5 English High School September 11, 1986
498 Essex St.
42°27′59″N 70°56′50″W / 42.4664°N 70.9471°W / 42.4664; -70.9471 (English High School)
Listing is for the 1890s former building, not the current facilities. One of five registered structures in Lynn designed by Holman K. Wheeler.
6 Fabens Building February 25, 1982
312-314 Union St.
42°27′53″N 70°56′38″W / 42.464722°N 70.943889°W / 42.464722; -70.943889 (Fabens Building)
One of three registered buildings in Lynn designed by Henry Warren Rogers[6]
7 G.A.R. Hall and Museum May 7, 1979
58 Andrew St.
42°27′46″N 70°56′53″W / 42.462778°N 70.948056°W / 42.462778; -70.948056 (G.A.R. Hall and Museum)
One of five registered structures in Lynn designed by Holman K. Wheeler
8 High Rock Tower-High Rock Cottage and Daisy Cottage October 11, 1979
15, 17 Campbell Terr. and High Rock Park
42°28′06″N 70°56′49″W / 42.468441°N 70.947007°W / 42.468441; -70.947007 (High Rock Tower-High Rock Cottage and Daisy Cottage)
One of five registered structures in Lynn designed by Holman K. Wheeler
9 Charles Lovejoy House November 28, 1978
64 Broad St.
42°27′48″N 70°56′19″W / 42.463333°N 70.938611°W / 42.463333; -70.938611 (Charles Lovejoy House)
10 Lynn Armory September 7, 1979
36 S. Common St.
42°27′47″N 70°57′16″W / 42.463056°N 70.954444°W / 42.463056; -70.954444 (Lynn Armory)
One of five registered structures in Lynn designed by Holman K. Wheeler
11 Lynn Bank Block August 26, 1982
21-29 Exchange St.
42°27′49″N 70°56′36″W / 42.463583°N 70.943306°W / 42.463583; -70.943306 (Lynn Bank Block)
12 Lynn Common Historic District April 10, 1992
Roughly N. and S. Common St. from Market Sq. to City Hall
42°27′49″N 70°57′28″W / 42.463611°N 70.957778°W / 42.463611; -70.957778 (Lynn Common Historic District)
13 Lynn Masonic Hall August 21, 1979
64-68 Market St.
42°27′48″N 70°56′59″W / 42.463333°N 70.949722°W / 42.463333; -70.949722 (Lynn Masonic Hall)
14 Lynn Memorial City Hall and Auditorium February 24, 2005
3 City Hall Square
42°27′53″N 70°57′06″W / 42.464722°N 70.951667°W / 42.464722; -70.951667 (Lynn Memorial City Hall and Auditorium)
15 Lynn Public Library August 21, 1979
5 N. Common St.
42°27′52″N 70°57′15″W / 42.464444°N 70.954167°W / 42.464444; -70.954167 (Lynn Public Library)
16 Lynn Realty Company Building No. 2 March 31, 1983
672-680 Washington St.
42°27′43″N 70°56′41″W / 42.461944°N 70.944722°W / 42.461944; -70.944722 (Lynn Realty Company Building No. 2)
One of three registered buildings in Lynn designed by Henry Warren Rogers[6]
17 Lynn Woods Historic District September 6, 1996
Roughly bounded by Lynnfield St., Bow Ridge, Great Woods Rd., Parkland Ave., Walnut St., Saugus Line
42°29′21″N 70°59′13″W / 42.489167°N 70.986944°W / 42.489167; -70.986944 (Lynn Woods Historic District)
18 Mowers' Block February 25, 1982
7 Willow St. and 67-83 Blake St.
42°27′51″N 70°56′44″W / 42.4642°N 70.9456°W / 42.4642; -70.9456 (Mowers' Block)
19 Munroe Street Historic District December 2, 1996
Bounded by Market, Oxford, and Washington Sts., and the MBTA commuter rail line
42°27′46″N 70°56′53″W / 42.4628°N 70.9481°W / 42.4628; -70.9481 (Munroe Street Historic District)
20 Nahant Beach Boulevard-Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston August 11, 2003
Nahant Beach Boulevard
42°26′12″N 70°56′17″W / 42.4367°N 70.9381°W / 42.4367; -70.9381 (Nahant Beach Boulevard-Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston)
Extends for most of its length into Nahant. Part of the Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston MPS.
21 Lucian Newhall House July 18, 1985
281 Ocean St.
42°27′39″N 70°56′12″W / 42.4608°N 70.9367°W / 42.4608; -70.9367 (Lucian Newhall House)
22 Old Lynn High School March 6, 2002
50 High St.
42°27′58″N 70°56′45″W / 42.4662°N 70.9459°W / 42.4662; -70.9459 (Old Lynn High School)
23 Old Post Office Building September 14, 1981
360 Washington St.
42°27′53″N 70°56′54″W / 42.4647°N 70.9483°W / 42.4647; -70.9483 (Old Post Office Building)
24 Pine Grove Cemetery June 27, 2014
145 Boston St.
42°28′39″N 70°57′44″W / 42.4774°N 70.9621°W / 42.4774; -70.9621 (Pine Grove Cemetery)
25 Lydia Pinkham House September 25, 2012
285 Western Ave.
42°28′33″N 70°57′03″W / 42.4757°N 70.9507°W / 42.4757; -70.9507 (Lydia Pinkham House)
Pinkham's home was the mailing address for orders of her homemade herbal remedy for menstrual cramps, one of the most popular such medications of the late 19th century, as a result of her then-innovative use of her image as a marketing tool.
26 St. Stephen's Memorial Church September 7, 1979
74 S. Common St.
42°27′46″N 70°57′24″W / 42.462778°N 70.956667°W / 42.462778; -70.956667 (St. Stephen's Memorial Church)
27 Tapley Building March 31, 1983
206 Broad St.
42°27′45″N 70°56′41″W / 42.4625°N 70.944722°W / 42.4625; -70.944722 (Tapley Building)
Destroyed by fire in 1999. One of five registered structures in Lynn designed by Holman K. Wheeler.
28 US Post Office--Lynn Main June 20, 1986
51 Willow St.
42°27′54″N 70°56′48″W / 42.465°N 70.946667°W / 42.465; -70.946667 (US Post Office--Lynn Main)
Renamed in 2018 as the Thomas P. Costin Jr. Post Office Building.
29 Vamp Building March 31, 1983
3-15 Liberty Square
42°27′45″N 70°56′50″W / 42.4625°N 70.947222°W / 42.4625; -70.947222 (Vamp Building)
One of three registered buildings in Lynn designed by Henry Warren Rogers. Original name "Lynn Realty Company Building #4".[6]

See also


  1. ^ The latitude and longitude information provided in this table was derived originally from the National Register Information System, which has been found to be fairly accurate for about 99% of listings. Some locations in this table may have been corrected to current GPS standards.
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 24, 2008.
  3. ^ National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior, "National Register of Historic Places: Weekly List Actions", retrieved August 20, 2021.
  4. ^ Numbers represent an alphabetical ordering by significant words. Various colorings, defined here, differentiate National Historic Landmarks and historic districts from other NRHP buildings, structures, sites or objects.
  5. ^ The eight-digit number below each date is the number assigned to each location in the National Register Information System database, which can be viewed by clicking the number.
  6. ^ a b c The Register of the Lynn Historical Society for the Year 1915. Lynn Historical Society. 1916. p. 31.
This page was last edited on 25 May 2021, at 13:00
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