Transparency in Government

As a State Rep, Melissa will be an advocate for:

  • Recording all Beacon Hill votes, including those taken in committees.
  • Digital and physical accessibility.
  • Reachable, responsive legislators.
  • Holding town halls and forums.
  • Voter registration and education.

It is really hard to find out what is happening on Beacon Hill. From votes to legislation to the arguments over amendments, we voters know too little of what goes on in the halls of our state house. This must change. I believe that we govern best when we do it in the open, with the sun shining on all government actions. As a private citizen, I have for several years been a chief organizer of issue-related events, postcard parties, and forums on major issues facing the state. As a legislator, I will continue this work. I will host informative town halls and regularly publish op-eds and statements arguing my positions. In addition, I will champion legislation which will make our legislative processes easier to follow. I don’t believe it’s fair to ask people for their votes if I’m unwilling to be honest about what I believe in.

This past January, three practical reforms were offered as amendments to the Rules for the 191st House session which would have accomplished this, and all three failed. They would have required the house to provide adequate time for legislators to read bills before voting, committees to write comprehensive reports when bills are recommended to the chamber, and committee votes to be recorded and published online. If I had been in office, I would have voted for these amendments, and as a legislator, I will support such initiatives. Until we have such legislation in place, I will personally publish all my votes alongside detailed explanations of why I voted the way that I did.

I will also make digital and physical accessibility a priority. Far too often, people with disabilities are left out of or blocked from the political process because events are held at facilities that are not in compliance with the ADA, or by digital communications which are inaccessible to assitive technologies. In my campaign, you will see posts with long text-based descriptions of images: This is intentional in order to ensure that everyone benefits from the information provided within. You will also notice “Accessbility” notes in my event listings, in order to provide attendees with information they can use to plan their attendance.

I believe that the way forward is one where we make an effort to work together, and share our opinions and positions freely in order to uncover solutions that work for all of us.

Don’t mistake what happens in [the Massachusetts State House] for democracy.

Phillip Sego, Ex Sierra Club Lobbyist, Dec 19, 2018, CommonWealth Magazine https://commonwealthmagazine.org/opinion/ex-lobbyist-reveals-how-the-house-really-works/

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