<"www.capecodporcupine.blogspot.com" >

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Exercise Your Civic Rights!

I ask you to be citizens: citizens, not spectators; citizens, not subjects; responsible citizens, building communities of service and a nation of character. George H.W. Bush, First Inaugural Address, Saturday, January 20, 2001

How often have you heard it said - there ougtta be a law!

In Massachusetts, you have a chance to make you own law, and the filing deadline of Jan. 14, 2009 is upcoming.

Here in Mass., we have in our Constitution what is called the Right of Free Petition. Any citizen of the commonwealth can file legislation with the House Clerk, and it must be considered by the relevant legislative committee on the same footing as a bill filed by a legislator.

There is no dearth of ideas floating about here. The Mass. Secretary of State, William Galvin, has an excellent guide on his web site,
Participating in the Legislative Process, which provides a good outline of how to do so.

The Clerk of the Massachusetts House is Steven James, and he can be reached by calling the main number of the State House. He is an excellent and non-partisan public servant, genuinely helpful (due in no small part to the fact that while the average tenure of a Speaker if five years, the average tenure of a House Clerk is closer to forty - he can expect to work with a variety of people).

Don't be shy - your idea is just as likely to be good as that of a legislator who throws a bill in the hopper to mandate umbrellas once it begins raining. The tools are in your hands, and you can try to improve our Commonwealth with your efforts.


Blogger Laura Jackson said...

You're right, this is an invaluable opportunity for citizens of the Commonwealth. I'd like us to take an additional step: That of requiring roll-call voting in the House and Senate and made a matter of public record. The online system is confusing and has a waiver attached saying that it may not be accurate.

The names of those who sponsor, co-sponsor and oppose legislation should be made available to the public in a printed news format taking into consideration that many folks do not have access to the internet.

12:13 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

I am nerdier than 82% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out! 

Please take my Blog Reader Project survey.

Listed on BlogShares
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
« # ! LifePost + ? » -->