Thursday, September 14, 2017

Franklin Resident Starts Political Group to Challenge Speaker's Power

Massachusetts Voters for Legislative Reform to Hold First Meeting on October 7th

Massachusetts Voters for Legislative Reform (MVLR) will hold its first organizing meeting on Saturday, October 7th at 1 p.m. at the Milford Town Library. "Our mission is to reduce the amount of power held by leadership on Beacon Hill," says founder Maxwell Morrongiello of Franklin.

Morrongiello started MVLR in response to the increasing consolidation of this power in the House of Representatives, which has grown steadily during the terms of the last four Speakers. "The enormous amount of power the Speaker has right now is simply undemocratic," says Morrongiello. "Leadership has almost absolute control as to what bills pass and which bills die. Decisions on legislation should be based on the will of the rank and file, not the will of one person." Morrongiello argues that the current power dynamic makes it easier for lobbyists to rig the system by targeting the few people in charge, having major effect on what legislation makes it out of the House.

Morrongiello referenced the fact that 64 lawmakers switched their votes on casinos after DeLeo took control of the House, and argued undue pressure from the Speaker prevented legislators from voting their conscience. "Our representatives should be working for us," expressed MVLR member Joyce Notine of Bellingham, "Instead they are working for the Speaker."

Morrongiello proposed potential solutions for reducing the influence of the Speaker, including stripping leadership's ability to make committee appointments, and placing that authority within a separate legislative body. Morrongiello hopes through grassroots organizing his group could nudge lawmakers to support future leadership who will empower the rank and file. Morrongiello acknowledged the toxicity of the issue his group is tackling. "Almost everyone on Beacon Hill knows that this is a serious issue, but they are paralyzed by the potential repercussions of speaking out. I hope that through organizing, those voices will finally have a chance to be heard."

The first MVLR meeting is open to the public. MVLR is a non-partisan effort. Interested parties can RSVP at, and may sign up for email and Facebook updates at the same location.

Direct all inquiries to Maxwell Morrongiello at 508-318-8629 or at

Franklin Resident Starts Political Group to Challenge Speaker's Power
Franklin Resident Starts Political Group to Challenge Speaker's Power

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