TRANSPARENCY IS POWER CAMPAIGN
At the start of every two year legislative session, the State House writes its own rulebook. A new session begins in January. Over the next few months, we’re organizing constituent power in every corner of the state to ask that our legislators change the broken, anti-democratic rules in the State House.
Join Your District Team
Did your Rep commit?
The Massachusetts State House is broken.
Year after year legislation that would uplift the lives of millions is delayed, made less ambitious, or killed behind closed doors. This pattern plays out despite clear support from constituents on a long list of policies.
Why is it that, despite a Democratic veto-proof majority, the State House fails to pass widely popular and desperately needed legislation year after year?
The Problem: No Transparency, No Accountability, No Progress
Massachusetts has one of the least transparent State Houses in the country. With few exceptions, our legislators vote in secret. This fosters a corrupting system in which legislators are more accountable to corporations and special interests than to their own constituents. The devastating end result is a State House that fails us by prioritizing modest, incremental changes, instead of truly reflecting our values. Decisions about which bills pass are made in backroom deals. The State House operates more like an old boys club than a pillar of a vibrant democracy.
The Solution: Use Constituent Power to Change The Broken Rules
The Transparency Is Power Campaign is a grassroots campaign that works with advocacy groups, labor unions, and individuals to build constituent power across the state. Together, we pressure our state legislators through engagement and escalation to change the rules of the State House. By standing up for rules today, we can more effectively fight for bold, transformative policies tomorrow.
At the start of the legislative session in January 2021, the State House gets to write its own rulebook. We are fighting for the adoption of the following rules:
The Strategy: Where You Come In
In order for these rules changes to pass, a majority of state representatives must vote yes at the start of the legislative session in January. That means we’re going to need at least 81 state representatives to commit. That’s a lot of meetings, which is why we need your help!
If attending a meeting with your state legislator seems scary, don’t worry! We’ll be with you every step of the way. Act On Mass is building district level teams and will provide training to ensure that everyone who meets with their legislator is prepared. Act on Mass will attend the meeting and afterwards organize alongside your district team to escalate pressure.
This is about more than transparency. This is about single payer healthcare, a rapid transition to renewable energy, immigrant protections, LGBTQ+ inclusive rights, and housing justice. This is about changing the broken system that has prevented countless desperately needed policies from becoming a reality. This is your chance to make a difference.
“Pledge asks lawmakers to commit to voting transparency” Michael Norton, State House News Service, 9/12/2019
“Mass. is a participatory democracy in name only” Erin Leahy & Ryan Daulton, Commonwealth Magazine, 11/15/2020
“Retiring rep, rep-elect share insights on State House opacity” Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth Magazine, 11/23/2020
“Act on Mass Interview”, the Enviro Show, 11/27/2020
“Police reform bill is an example of why the public is distrustful of Beacon Hill”, Rep. Patrick Kearney, Boston Globe, 12/2/2020
“Don’t let American democracy die”, Miriam Siegal and Scotia Hille, Metrowest Daily News, 12/26/2020
“Activists look to bolster transparency in Massachusetts House come January”, Interview with Sophie Coyne, Berkshire Eagle, 12/27/2020
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