LWVMA Action Alert: Make Public Records Public And Support H.3665

The information below is from LWVMA.  For more, go to LWVMA Action Alert

In July, we asked you to contact your senators and representatives about H.3665, a bill to vastly improve access to public records. That bill has been languishing in the House Ways and Means Committee ever since. Now it’s time to join with other organizations and demand action. LWVMA still thinks that a legislative solution is far preferable to a ballot initiative, but we must let our legislators know that inaction is not acceptable.

Please call or email your Senator and Representative and ask them to support H.3665 and to urge the House Ways and Means Committee to bring it to the floor for a vote. You do not have to explain the fine points of the bill, just express your support. You can find contact information for your legislators here.

LWVMA, as a member of the Mass. Freedom of Information Coalition (MassFOIA) along with news organizations and the ACLU, has worked hard and was thrilled when the Joint Committee on Administration and Oversight reported the bill favorably with modest changes. 

The Mass Municipal Association and other groups are trying to block the bill, so they won’t have to comply with existing laws which have no enforcement mechanism. In July, Massachusetts ranked 46 out of the 50 states in transparency and compliance with the Federal Freedom of Information Act. Since then we’ve moved down to 47.

Thanks to all who helped this election season!

LWVN thanks all those who ran for Aldermen, School Committee and Charter Commission this year.  There were important and interesting conversations all around Newton regarding issues from the size of the Board of Aldermen to land use and development to later high school start times, all because candidates were willing to put in the time and effort to meet with voters and answer their questions.

We also thank voters for overwhelmingly supporting the ballot question on establishing a charter commission.  LWVN is eager to watch the commission at work and to play a constructive role in improving our local government.

A  huge thanks to all those who worked to support and educate voters this election season.  To Andy Levin and his staff at the Newton TAB, Greg Reibman and fellow bloggers on Village14.com, Ellen Ishkanian at the Boston Globe West, and Jenn Adams, Stephen Kessinger and the entire staff at NewTV, we applaud all your efforts to help bring issues to the forefront and to inform voters about the candidates and important topics.  Thanks as well to the Village Bank, for their support of our Voters Guides, and the Auburndale Community Library and the West Suburban YMCA for providing space for our events.

Last, but certainly not least, a heartfelt thanks to all the LWVN volunteers who made events like the Candidates Forums, Voters Guides, and the Charter Commission Open Houses possible.  A special “shoutout” to Sharyn Roberts, Bonnie Carter and Lisa Mirabile for helping plan the events and materials, as well as the many volunteers who helped as timekeepers, greeters, and question sorters.

Municipal Elections on Tuesday, November 3rd

In case you missed all the lawn signs around the city, political postcards in the mail, and notes hanging from your front door, Newton is having its municipal elections this Tuesday!

We have lots of information for you about the candidates, so be sure to check out LWVN’s Voters Guides for Aldermen, School Committee and Charter Commission candidates on our website lwvnewton.org.  Also available are the LWVN/NewTV Candidates’ Forums and NewTV Candidate Messages on NewTV.org.  Finally, three Area Councils co-organized a series of candidates’ forums as well.  Those are available here:  Tri-Council Charter Commission Forum and Tri-Council Aldermen/School Committee Forum.

Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday…remember, democracy is not a spectator sport!

Thanks to volunteers for the LWVMA Phonathon!

Thanks to our fantastic volunteers who called Newton members for the LWVMA Phonathon:  Pia Bertelli, Alicia Bowman, Bonnie Carter, Andreae Downs, Lois Levin, and Sharyn Roberts, who organized the event.

Take the MBTA Rider Census

The MBTA has launched the MBTA Rider Census, a system-wide passenger survey, at www.mbta.com/census. The results of the census play an important role in planning future service and ensuring service is provided fairly.

What is the MBTA Rider Census?

The census is a short survey about you and the trips you make using the MBTA. The MBTA is required to survey its riders every five years to gather this information.

 Why should I take it?

The MBTA will use the results of the census to plan future service and to ensure service is provided fairly. Make sure you’re represented!

 How do I participate?

Please take a few minutes to fill out the census online at www.mbta.com/census. All answers are confidential.

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