The Texas Public Information Act (TPIA) states that "government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees."
Through the TPIA, anyone can request information collected, assembled, produced or maintained in the course of transacting public business from government bodies. It may be on paper or film or in electronic communications such as emails, Internet postings, text messages or instant messages.
Two super easy steps to make a TPIA Request:
- Find your Public Information Contact: https://www.houstontx.gov/pia.html#pd
- For Historic Preservation, Planning and Development - Patricia Benavides: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send an Email Request to your Public Information Contact
- If the request is too broad, you may be asked to narrow your request. See a sample request below:
Subject: TPIA Request - 1900 Kane
Attention officer of public information, I'm making a TPIA request for all communication about "MECA", "1900 Kane" or "1900 Kane St, Houston, TX 77007" from and to the Historic Preservation Staff between the dates of April 1, 2019 – August 8, 2019.
You'll then receive the information you requested via email. If it cannot be produced within 10 working days the Public Information Officer will notify you in writing of the reasonable date and time when it will be available. Remember, the more narrow your request, the quicker it may arrive.