Incorruptible Massachusetts

Representative Maria Robinson: Why cosponsoring is not enough.

October 10, 2019 Maria Robinson, Anna Callahan Season 1 Episode 5
Incorruptible Massachusetts
Representative Maria Robinson: Why cosponsoring is not enough.
Chapters
Incorruptible Massachusetts
Representative Maria Robinson: Why cosponsoring is not enough.
Oct 10, 2019 Season 1 Episode 5
Maria Robinson, Anna Callahan

You can read the whole transcript here.

Hi, this is Anna Callahan and you’re listening to Incorruptible Massachusetts.  Our goal is to help people understand state politics: we’re investigating why it’s so broken, imagining what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and reporting on how you can get involved. 

Today I’m interviewing Representative Maria Robinson.

Maria Robinson is the State Rep from the 6th Middlesex District and has been a State Rep since 2019.  She is most active in climate change policy and has written a buildings energy efficiency bill. She is also passionate about transparency in governance and has pushed for significant changes in the House to increase public awareness of legislation being passed.

It’s from this discussion with Maria Robinson that I first learned that Massachusetts has the lowest rate of challenging incumbents of any state legislature.  Part of the problem with the State House is the culture — a culture where everyone has to do what the speaker says, and where things are done because “they’ve always been done that way” even if it’s clearly non-transparent and anti-democratic.  So the fact that people are not challenging incumbents is a big part of the problem.

The other thing I learned from Maria, and this comes up late in the episode, is that many good bills have more than 100 cosponsors, but get killed in committee, where we can’t see how legislators vote.  She has really great advice for how you can make sure your legislator is actually supporting a bill, not just putting their name on it publicly while working to kill it in private.  

And without further ado, here is our conversation.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/incorruptible_massachusetts)

Show Notes

You can read the whole transcript here.

Hi, this is Anna Callahan and you’re listening to Incorruptible Massachusetts.  Our goal is to help people understand state politics: we’re investigating why it’s so broken, imagining what we could have here in MA if we fixed it, and reporting on how you can get involved. 

Today I’m interviewing Representative Maria Robinson.

Maria Robinson is the State Rep from the 6th Middlesex District and has been a State Rep since 2019.  She is most active in climate change policy and has written a buildings energy efficiency bill. She is also passionate about transparency in governance and has pushed for significant changes in the House to increase public awareness of legislation being passed.

It’s from this discussion with Maria Robinson that I first learned that Massachusetts has the lowest rate of challenging incumbents of any state legislature.  Part of the problem with the State House is the culture — a culture where everyone has to do what the speaker says, and where things are done because “they’ve always been done that way” even if it’s clearly non-transparent and anti-democratic.  So the fact that people are not challenging incumbents is a big part of the problem.

The other thing I learned from Maria, and this comes up late in the episode, is that many good bills have more than 100 cosponsors, but get killed in committee, where we can’t see how legislators vote.  She has really great advice for how you can make sure your legislator is actually supporting a bill, not just putting their name on it publicly while working to kill it in private.  

And without further ado, here is our conversation.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/incorruptible_massachusetts)