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.

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.

Breaking Barriers: Gender Politics in Government

The Rappaport Center for Law and Policy at Boston College Law School is hosting a panel discussion entitled “Breaking Barriers: Gender Politics in Government.” Jane Swift, Kerry Healey, Evelyn Murphy, and Katherine Clark are the panelists.  The event will take place on Friday, November 6th, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at BC Law School, Stuart House 315.  A reception will follow the event.  To find out more or to RSVP, please contact rappaport@bc.edu.  

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