An open letter to our legislators:
As you know, the ethics and integrity of our government have come under urgent scrutiny in the last few weeks. In response, Governor Patrick has formed a “public integrity task force.”
This is a particular interest of mine. Among other efforts, I, together with two citizen co-plaintiffs, have spent over three and a half years trying to force the Boston City Council to obey the Open Meeting Law.
I am asking you to take an active role in the Governor’s integrity task force effort, although few of you were appointed to it.
To begin with, I ask you to:
-request that the Governor’s task force hold public hearings across the state;
reach out to your constituents, e.g., hold public forums, crate a hotline (phone and e-mail) for citizen corruption reports;
submit recommendations of your own, and present them in a public forum (newspaper opeds, your web-sites, etc.);
-file legislation to make the legislature subject to the Open Meeting Law and the Public Record Law.
I will be preparing a set of recommendations from my own experience.
Unfortunately, elected officials tend to wait until corruption bursts out on the public scene before taking action, although many are aware of mis-doings. I am asking you to take this opportunity to be proactive — because silence is complicity.
Federal law prohibits depriving the public of “fair and honest services.” This is the real definition of corruption. This should be the broad scope of ethical reform.
I ask for your response to this message, and I ask you to commit to bold and proactive action.