The People's House

A Campaign for Rules Reform by Act on Mass, Sunrise Boston, Mijente Boston Asamblea, Indivisible Mass Coalition, & Our Climate

The Massachusetts State House is one of the least transparent in the country. When decisions about what bills will pass are made in backroom deals with a small handful of people, that’s not democracy. Bay Staters deserve a government that centers their voices - not one that bends over backwards to keep them out.

In July, the State House will be writing its own rulebook. We’re fighting to change the broken, anti-democratic rules. Together, we can make the State House the People’s House. Will you join us?

Join the Campaign

Sign up here to join your District Team and get plugged into the organizing happening in your area.

Protesters

The Massachusetts State House is Broken

As Massachusetts residents, we know that our state house is not working for us. Year after year, policies that the majority of people in this state support and need in order to thrive are voted down without a public vote, or stalled indefinitely. This is true of vital legislation such as immigrant protections, Medicare for All, increasing voting access, ending wage theft, and so much more.

Why is it that, despite a Democratic supermajority, the State House fails to pass widely popular and desperately needed legislation?

State House

The Problem: The People Have Been Locked Out

We elect representatives to represent our interests, but the truth is, most of the time we don’t even know how they vote on our behalf. In fact, Massachusetts has one of the least transparent state houses in the country. For ordinary residents, this means that:

  • It's difficult to know what's going on in the State House, and advocate for the bills we care about.

  • Our representatives are more accountable to corporate lobbyists and the Speaker of the House than to their districts.

    Democracy only works if everyday people are able to access and influence their government.

The Solution: Build Constituent Power to Change the Broken Rules

Constituents are united behind the need for a more transparent and accessible State House. By activating this support to call for transparency, accountability and shared power in the State House rulebook, we can win a State House that truly works for all of us.

Our strategy is to model the representative democracy we’d like to see in our state by empowering thousands of constituents to organize their communities, meet with their representatives, and lobby for changes to the House Rules. Together, we’re calling for three common sense reforms that will allow constituents to have a voice in the government that shapes our daily lives:

3 rules we are suggesting: Make all committees vote public, ensure all bills are public 72 hours before a vote, reinstate term limits for the speaker

History behind the campaign

In November of 2020, Act on Mass launched the Transparency is Power campaign. Between November and February, over 3000 constituents in 150 districts across the state and dozens of advocacy organizations joined our campaign for a more transparent state house. Largely in reaction to the power that our movement built, the Speaker of the House decided to delay the rules vote by six months. During the Joint Rules vote in February, House Leadership made a major concession in their proposal in direct response to the public pressure generated by the campaign. Because of our grassroots movement, "no" votes in Joint committees will be available online. This partial victory is a huge step towards a State House that is transparent, accessible, and accountable to the people.

Reps supporting the campaign

Mike Connollygreen check
Mike Connolly (D)
Amendments 1, 2, 3
Kip Diggsgreen check
Kip Diggs (D)
Amendment 1
Carol Dohertygreen check
Carol Doherty (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Nika Elugardogreen check
Nika Elugardo (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Brandy Fluker-Oakleygreen check
Brandy Fluker-Oakley (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Tami Gouveiagreen check
Tami Gouveia (D)
Amendments 1, 2, 3
Natalie Higginsgreen check
Natalie Higgins (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Russell Holmesgreen check
Russell Holmes (D)
Amendments 1, 2, 3
Vanna Howardgreen check
Vanna Howard (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Patrick Kearneygreen check
Patrick Kearney (D)
Amendments 1, 2
David LeBoeufgreen check
David LeBoeuf (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Jack Lewisgreen check
Jack Lewis (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Rady Momgreen check
Rady Mom (D)
Amendment 2
Steve Owensgreen check
Steve Owens (D)
Amendments 1, 2
John Rogersgreen check
John Rogers (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Adam Scanlongreen check
Adam Scanlon (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Dan Senagreen check
Dan Sena (D)
Amendments 1, 2
Paul Tuckergreen check
Paul Tucker (D)
Amendment 1
Erika Uyterhoevengreen check
Erika Uyterhoeven (D)
Amendments 1, 2, 3

Endorsements

Coalition Partners

Act On Mass

Sunrise BostonSunrise Boston

Mijente Boston AsambleaOur ClimateIndivisible Mass Coalition

Endorsing organizations

Our Revolution MA350 MassBoston DSAProgressive MassMass Peace ActionMassCareOur Revolution MaldenResonant EnergyBerkshires DSAPHENOM

Sunrise ArlingtonSunrise Arlington

NOFAIndivisible Acton AreaFCCPREnd Workplace AbuseGrassroots Central MassZero Debt MAWaltham Black Future FundGreen NewtonWorcester DSA

Sunrise Natick HighSunrise Natick High

March For Our Lives MassachusettsMarch For Our Lives Massachusetts

Harvard College DemocratsHarvard College Democrats

Mass Political CooperativeDefound NPDSommerville Democrats

Social Justice Committee of First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington

Mystic Valley Action for Choice

Milford Democratic Town Commitee

Holden Democratic Town Commitee

Media