Friday, February 23, 2024

A small group of Sunrise Movement Boston activists say they plan to gather Saturday to livestream a protest urging support for State House transparency amendments. The changes for the House of Representatives, created by the Act on Mass group, want all committee votes publicly disclosed; bills made public at least 72 hours before a final vote; and the threshold for a vote to be publicly recorded lowered to eight legislators from 16.

“The Massachusetts State House is one of the least transparent statehouses in the country. With few exceptions, a representative’s votes are essentially secret. The opaque nature of these votes makes it extremely difficult to hold our representatives accountable, and is the reason Massachusetts lags behind the rest of the country in passing progressive bills,” according to a Sunrise Movement press release sent Thursday.

Among Somerville state representatives, Mike Connolly and Erika Uyterhoeven have pledged support for the amendments; the rally calls for state Rep. Christine Barber to join them, said Marie Lessard-Brandt, the Sunrise Somerville Youth hub coordinator.

“Without changes to the rules of the State House, we will never have a truly democratic state. We are calling for our local representatives to support amendments that would allow the State House to more accurately reflect the views of citizens,” Lessard-Brandt said.

The rally is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Nathan Tufts/Powderhouse Park, College Avenue and Broadway, Somerville.