Yesterday was swearing in for all of the state representatives and senators in the General Court of Massachusetts (and of course, my first time being sworn in). I was thrilled to have my family there for the ceremony, though it went for about 3 hours, which was 2 hours longer than my daughter's attention span.
In Democratic caucus, I put forward an amendment to amend the caucus rules. These govern the proceedings of our caucus. The amendment I proposed would impact how the caucus votes for the Democratic candidate for Speaker (that is, in caucus, not on the floor). Currently, the rules state that the Speaker is chosen via a roll call vote (although we did not do that yesterday; we voted via voice vote). My amendment would have changed that to a private ballot instead, and the amendment would go into effect after yesterday's vote for Speaker.
Anyone who followed anything I've talked about over the past few months knows that I'm pro-transparency measures, so this move might seem confusing. My goal was to help heal divisions after difficult Speakers' fights. One of the arguments I made was that many members of House have held on to the battle scars from Speaker fights from the past -- even ones that happened before I was born. From my perspective, this doesn't allow for a healthy House culture.
It was great to experience my first debate in caucus, listening to arguments from both sides. I completely agree with the opposing side that transparency is important, and I'm excited that there are so many folks who support more roll call votes. I'll certainly be standing up and calling for them in the future on legislation.
I hope this little glimpse into the mind of (this/a) state rep helps to pull the curtain up on the opacity of government a smidge. I also hope to write little posts like this to help explain my actions and votes to you, my lovely constituents.