Grassroots Central Mass. Endorses Statehouse Transparency
A campaign to pull back a curtain of secrecy that shrouds how the Mass. House of Representatives does business is gaining traction. It has also gained the endorsement of the GCM leadership committee. Massachusetts has one of the least transparent legislatures in the country. This means your reps can talk one way and vote another without discovery. It means bills come to a vote with short public notice and it makes it hard for a rep to force a publicly recorded floor vote. The campaign by Act on Mass includes three specific reforms to House rules:
- Make all committee votes and testimony publicly available upon request, including electronic polls and study orders;
- Lower the number of reps needed to move a vote to the floor;
- Increase the notice given to the public about floor votes.
Efforts to date have been so effective in lining up progressive lawmaker support that leadership in the House has recently put off adoption of rules until early summer. That is highly unusual and give the campaign time for us to get support commitments from our local lawmakers. We urge you to read more and get involved (virtually and safely) at the Act on Mass website.
Post Election, COVID-Proof Activism for 2021
The GCM leadership group has met frequently via ZOOM during the pandemic and our election activities have been publicized to members on our mailing list. In December we formed three committees to focus our 2021 activities in safe, healthy ways. Their focus:
> Racial & Social Justice
> Climate Change
> Political Engagement
As the year begins, each of these committees are ramping up ideas and priorities. The election was a start. At the local level and beyond, we have much to act on to engage with our neighbors, affect actual change and hold those promising reform to account.
GCM members are welcome to offer ideas via email, or may inquire about attending virtual meetings of the leadership group.