Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

70th Citizens’ Legislative Seminar

In mid-March, it was my privilege to participate in the Citizens’ Legislative Seminar (CLS) at the MA State House. This two-day event, hosted by Senate President Therese Murray and organized by the amazing Anne Reilly Ziaja, Director of the MA Senate Office of Legislative Education, “aims to better educate the public on how the legislative process actually functions in the Commonwealth.”

A variety of presenters focused on topics like parliamentary procedure in the Senate process, chamber protocol, and how bills are researched by the Senate’s legal office. Our own Senator Katherine Clark spoke thoughtfully and pragmatically about how to advocate for legislation that you would like to see enacted including getting to know your legislators and their staff, knowing the process and rules, recognizing political realities, and being willing to tell your story. Another highlight was participating in a simulated Senate session (presided over by President Murray in the Senate Chamber) on a current bill.

This wonderful opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and how we can all be active participants in advocacy really supports how we can make a positive difference in our communities and the lives of our children and families. To learn more, check out https://malegislature.gov/Engage/EducationalOpportunities or e-mail Anne at Anne.Ziaja@MAsenate.gov.