New Participation Policy

I want to check in with you regarding a policy change I have made on my website.

In a nutshell, going forward, I intend to publish comments only of current and former constituents.  I do not intend to remove comments by non-constituents that have previously been published.

Until recently, anyone in the world could comment on my site and their comments would be published without moderation.  I have never censored comments or posts on my site based on ideology and I have plenty of friends and constituents who have views that are very different from mine.

I have always accepted direct criticism.  In fact I welcome it. I can do my job best if I am listening to a wide variety of views. I have typically only censored comments that appear to be incoherent or unreasonably repetitive or to abuse copyright or to attack private individuals.

But lately things have changed.  I don’t know whether it is the current heated times or whether I have just reached a certain level of visibility, but I find that my site is now a target for anonymous inflammatory statements from apparent strangers from far away places.

When people comment on my site, they must leave a name and email address.  Sometimes people make up names and email addresses.  I have no easy way of policing that and I have until now tolerated it.  I have been OK with people commenting anonymously if they are afraid of retaliation or just don’t want to be harassed — I want to maximize participation.

While people can make up names, their internet IP addresses are harder to spoof and not infrequently, the most inflammatory comments come from outside my district, often outside Massachusetts.

It is hard to resist responding to comments made on my site.  I feel it is always good karma to show gratitude in response to kind words or to show civility in the face of hostility.   When statements I am not comfortable with are made, I am concerned that if I do not respond, I will appear to endorse or accept them.  Often people commenting from outside my district are legitimate advocates who seek to influence my views.  It is hard not to respond to their statements for fear of appearing disrespectful.  And, frankly, it is always intriguing to start a new conversation.

Yet, there are only so many hours in the day and I want to make sure that I am doing my core job, which is serving the people whom I am elected to serve — the residents of the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.  The only way to avoid distractions without making  questionable judgment calls based on comment content or personal relationships is to cleanly limit participation to those people.

From here on out, when a person comments, my team will verify that they are a constituent within the policy before releasing their comment.  I will, however, keep everyone on my email list — to the extent that anyone anywhere finds my publications useful, I am happy to keep them informed.

I hope that those whose public participation on my site is excluded by this policy will understand the need for me to focus as a public servant and will not take the exclusion personally.

As always, I appreciate your feedback on how I am approaching things.

Thanks to all!!!

Thanks so much to all who have weighed in here. I feel that I am on solid ground with your support.

I’ll miss some very knowledgeable and thoughtful out-of-district commenters, but we’ll stay in touch.

One thought that a couple of people raised: What about hearing from out-of-district people about statewide issues? Two answers: First, through the hearing and other public information gathering processes, the legislature tries to give everyone with special knowledge the chance to be heard. Second, all legislators pay primary attention to their constituents and the best way to influence a legislative outcome is always to work with one’s own legislator — really take the time to develop some personal understanding.

Sunday, August 5, 10:30PM

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

181 replies on “New Participation Policy”

  1. Leave it up to “respondents” to prove that they are legit via a two or three step procedure if that is possible.

  2. I would like to suggest that you cast a slightly wider net for IP addresses than just your area. The reason being is that sometimes, depending on the provider, the IP address may appear to be other than the city in which one resides. For example, my IP address shows up in Woburn although I live in your district on the Watertown/Belmont/Cambridge line. A narrow limit to just the towns you represent may actually result in blocking your own constituents who may have ISPs that set IP addresses in neighboring areas. I appreciate the need, however, to filter out other states (and countries).

    1. Definitely. We won’t just do it by IP address.

      Out of district IP is just one flag for attention. Constituents have IP addresses all over the place due to cell phone use.

      We’ll verify identity directly using multiple means.

  3. I think this is fine in principle, but there are problems with using IP addresses:

    1) The commenter might be a constituent but commenting from work or otherwise traveling. I live in Watertown, but am presently writing this from BU.

    2) Especially with the complicated district maps, the granularity of the GeoIP databases is a bit too fuzzy. This can been particularly bad for mobile devices, which is often the primary access method especially for younger and lower income users.

    3) I have a friend in Quincy who’s IP is consistently placed in California.

    I totally understand the impetus for this policy, but I fear it might have unintended consequences.

    Sean Graham

    1. Yes. Definitely. We won’t just do it by IP address.

      Out of district IP is just one flag for attention. Constituents have IP addresses all over the place due to cell phone use.

      We’ll verify identity directly using multiple means.

  4. Sounds reasonable, Will. In many ways it seems we would be better served by keeping it local.

  5. I moved to another state but like keeping up with Mass. news via this super-intelligent site.

    I nonetheless agree that only constituents should be allowed to comment; hence this will probably be my last comment!

  6. Will,

    This change seems prudent and unobjectionable. As one of your constituents, I am interested in knowing how my neighbors in your district feel about the issues of the day. A bunch of clutter on your website from those who are not in your district gets in the way of my learning about my neighbors’ viewpoints.

  7. Like others, I’ve moved out of state but appreciate how you keep us informed. I think it’s completely reasonable to limit comments to your current constituents. Thank you for not kicking us off your mailing list, though!

  8. This new procedure is sensible given the growing proliferation of fake postings and news. As a constituent, I welcome these new restrictions. Thanks as always for your good work.

  9. Sorry to know that you have this problem. Have always appreciated your information and am glad that it will continue to be available to consituents.

  10. As a former constituent I am glad to be grandfathered in as I appreciate being able to participate in your excellent and transparent website. I also appreciate the inability to moderate comments and hope you will be able to figure out a good way to stay open and yet cut down on distractions that do not aid in making policy for Massachusetts residents. Thanks for all you are doing.

  11. To send a comment to U.S Senators and Representatives, they require your physical address, phone number and sometimes other things. It is quite reasonable for you to require what you need to verify who a person is. Thanks for asking!

  12. Seems sensible. Your focus is best served on your constituents. People from outside your district have other appropriate outlets to voice their issues and concerns.
    [from: constituent in Watertown]

  13. Thumbs up from me. Maybe it’s worth being a little lax and allowing comments from the general greater Boston area?

  14. I appreciate your policy explanation and agree with the thoughts you expressed here.

  15. Hi Will,
    I support your new policy. As you said, there are only so many hours in the day. Personally, I do not like anonymous comments. These comments often hijack discourse. To quote you “I can do my job best if I am listening to a wide variety of views.” You do consistently do that! If people have something to say be it pro, con, whatever – they should state their name, etc. That’s respectful to you as well as to the readers of your site.

    Your civility shines in these difficult times.

  16. Hi will… Your policy makes sense in many ways. You seem to have defined a way to limit noise without muting the message. My only suggestion is to consider having someone on your team compile out-of-area messages for selective citation. Just thinking, for instance, of the value of your work on judicial reform as a model to other states or for input for the stalled national process…and how useful dialog could be

  17. Yes, it is a very appropriate change. Thank you for your ability to help us to be part of the Massachusetts state government.

  18. So much a sign of the times: of angry hypercritical diatribes from unknown people intruding on facebook posts, as spam, and so forth. So much anger out there. I think your policy is wise, necessary and sensible. You do a great job keeping us posted, asking for opinions and clarifying the complicated. Keep communicating!

  19. Totally agree with this change. While it’s important to hear all viewpoints, the district is large enough and the penetrance of this website high enough that disparate viewpoints, and lively debate, can be offered by your constituents.

    Broadening the audience also prevents the voices of your constituents from being heard.

    Great idea.

  20. Will, I can understand your reasoning. A couple of questions. Would you accept an attributed letter from an interested organization about a position you are taking on a vote–eg the plastic bag ban? Also, since you are a committee chair, do you have separate email addresses or venues for discussion for your committee activities in the Statehouse? I appreciate being heard as your constituent. But I also get angry when, for example, Congresspeople on committees only take constituent comments when their actions affect us all on a broader scale. So, I think our State committee members should be able to take communications from MA residents and organizations, too. Would that work and help the situation for you? It’s a little different from your newsletter forums which might be limited to constituents and relevant orgs. I regret that civility is not valued by everyone and that ignorance and narrowness are widespread. I don’t know how to change that now. Barbara

    1. Fair question. I do receive advocacy communications related to my work as a legislator and as a committee chair.

      I take those seriously and am often very informed by them.

      The policy I announce today pertains only to publication of comments on this website.

      Of course, I will continue to receive and evaluate advocacy communications through my senate office.

      One thing to keep in mind is that the job of committees is to sift information and to build consensus among legislators. Committee chairs appear to have power, but generally they have to exercise it in a way that is broadly consistent with the wishes of other legislators. The best way to influence a committee chair is generally through other legislators. It does not do any good to persuade a committee chair of a view that is not supported by the majority of other legislators.

  21. I think you are absolutely entitled to run your website however you choose, and however will enable you to serve your constituents the most effectively.

    Thanks for the outstanding job you do.

  22. You’ve always been an excellent listener both in person and on your website. Your new policy sound like a good way to pace yourself.

  23. I agree with these changes and see them as a service to your constituents so that we can better understand the views of our peers in our district without non-district distraction.

  24. I agree. You don’t represent the world, or the groups with the loudest voices. You represent your constituents, and those are the voices most important in your position. People also use “groups” to try to strengthen their position. I don’t think you want to get into the business of validating groups, their membership, leadership, agenda, reputation, publications, etc.

  25. Thank you for this thoughtful post and well-considered policy. I fully support your decision and only wish more people would do the same. Allowing trolls to post on your site not only wastes your time in responding, but everyone else’s in reading.

  26. I can find no fault on this change. In fact I was not aware distant. non residents of your district would try to comment or say anything. I guess we have a host of people with more time on their hands that is healthy, trolling politicians, officials, to make working democracy difficult to work.

  27. I was your constituent until redistricting affected my West Cambridge neighborhood. I remain an interested fan.

  28. Will, this is a near-universal problem for those who maintain public forum sites. Whether limiting comments to a certain population is appropriate or not would seem to depend on the purpose of the site.

    In your (our!) case, you are our representative in the Massachusetts Senate, and this web site (as I understand it) is your vehicle for speaking to us, giving us a voice, and allowing you, and us, to listen thoughtfully to each other.

    This being so, limiting contributions to this web site to your constituents is entirely appropriate, and given my experience with how easily and quickly a public forum like this can become corrupted beyond repair by deliberately offensive comments, I can readily believe that such a restriction may be necessary.

  29. 100% behind your decision. Please continue to keep up your good work; even if I disagree with you occasionally I very much appreciate the sincerity and dedication of all your efforts.

  30. You have adopted an excellent website policy, with comments limited to constituents. Constructive suggestions broaden our understanding of multi-component issues.

  31. Mr. Brownsberger,
    I concur with your policy change for dealing with the problem of trolling in your comment field. I feel that an elected official should be listening to his/her constituents and not deflected by “outsiders” opinions be they sincere or otherwise.

    I also feel that funds to run in political races should also, only come from the constituents … that is voters of one’s district. This excludes corporations and PACs.

    Most of the comments posted in your comment field, have been thoughtful and sincere. Too bad, the present atmosphere is destroying such trust and good will.

  32. I understand your policy, Will. Americans are more divided politically, racially, and religiously than at any time since the civil war. A lot of this is due to our president.

    1. Indeed, the President has driven up the volume on all sides.

      I have all views among my constituents and am happy to engage with all views.

      I’m just trying to stay focused on constituents.

  33. Yes, do not waste your time. YOU are a very valuable asset. Restrict as you see fit. Thank you for your fine work on our behalf.

  34. It is possible the trolling comments are part of a larger campaign by foreign actors to sow discord and disinformation. I agree with your proposed changes, in so far as they attempt to limit that kind of interference.

    I have a few concerns:

    1) Please allow for public review of whatever method of identification you choose, as some methods may put obstacles in the way of legitimate participants, while not being sufficiently effective at defeating bad actors

    2) I am generally concerned about my privacy. I am happy to identify myself to you to qualify, but I prefer to use a screen name on my postings. Please don’t eliminate that option.

    3) Sometimes people outside your district may have relevant points of view that are worth hearing about regarding local issues. For example, a local issue may become interesting enough to be notable at a statewide or even national level, possibly for its pioneering nature, and become a model that other locales might copy. Experts in the topic outside the district might hear about it and have good reasons to suggest changes to, or support for the solution. It would be a shame to not have that input. But perhaps that would be better suited to another channel.

    Overall, I support your proposed changes.

    1. Some of the comments I’ve gotten do appear to be campaign driven — from out-of-state with a very divisive tone.

      As to methods, we’ll ask people in case of doubt and allow them to self-authenticate by means that work for them. We won’t use any single mechanism. The rule is clear, but the methodology has to be flexible.

      Yes. You can continue to use a screen name.

      And yes, there are many wise voices outside the district and I will continue to receive advocacy communications through my senate office. This policy pertains only to publication of comments here.

  35. I CERTAINLY understand your need to reduce and modify your site to serve those who you represent and appreciate your thoughtful approach to doing this.
    I support your effort and appreciate your willingness as an elected official to ask our opinions, listen deeply to the needs of the people and are transparent.

    Thank you. It is so refreshing to have an honest politician representing the people.

  36. I think your policy is absolutely right! Public service folks have enough to do without having to respond to messages from non-stakeholders and trolls. Keep up your great work.

  37. Thank you. I think you are spot on when it comes to establishing this policy and I, for one, am glad that you represent me.

  38. I think this change is unfortunate but necessary.

    I have at times attempted to send a comment to Mike Capuano who is not my rep but represents my state. I was not even allowed to send the comment! So I think that it’s important to hear from people in the state even though you are not representing them. That said, you don’t have to publish those comments.

    1. Yes. On emails, I’ll process them from anywhere. But if they are campaign emails (many of essentially the same) and are from outside the district, I cannot answer them. I used to, but the result is that once I’ve answered, they reply to my reply and all of a sudden I’m arguing with people on some organization’s email list from all over the country.

  39. I am a former long-time Watertown resident (44 years) and am now retired and living in Maine. I appreciate getting your news and hope to continue. I don’t contact you via your website or email unless you ask for feedback. I hope I continue to receive your mail as I love Watertown and being in touch with what is going on there, if only from a distance. Thank you for all you do!

  40. Will, your time is limited and this change is well reasoned. It is unfortunate that you have to protect the site from this kind of anonymous assault but it seems to be a sign of the times. I support the change and thank you as always for soliciting input.

  41. Yes! Anonymous inflammatory statements from outside special interest groups do nothing to advance a civil discussion of the issues.

  42. It makes sense to limit comments to constituents and former constituents. I kind of think that is who this forum is intended for anyway. As you said, anyone can reach you through your state senate office.

  43. I THINK IT IS TOTALLY APPROPRIATE. Folks are far too angry these days and in some cases crazy. You should not have to deal with those for whom you are not accountable.Perhaps some are part of the
    Russian conspiracy?

  44. I completely understand the necessity and value of this new policy. I’ll just add, though, that I don’t know if you are doing yourself a service or disservice by focusing on the narrow definition of ‘constituent.’ I’m someone who through a change of apartment to a different metro Boston neighborhood is now a former constituent. You’re no longer on my ballot, but the individual technically representing me is so unresponsive as to be useless. I prefer to support you as my “adopted” state senator any day!

  45. This change makes sense to me. Your job is to represent the people who live in your district. An alternative site should be there forum for a broader group discussion. Thank you for your respectful approach. It gives me hope.

  46. This is fair Will – It is also concerning that we have people from foreign nations attempting to influence elections in the US (although I am sure we deserve it as my understanding is we have inserted ourselves (like the CIA) into foreign governments. I also don’t like people taking cheap shots

  47. Hi, Will.

    Well, I started reading this sadly — agreeing with your policy, but feeling I’d miss occasionally commenting in a place where I feel my comments are noted and taken seriously — in other words, worth the trouble of making the comment!

    So I was glad to see that former constituents are still OK . . .

    That said, is there any way to remove objectionable comments, or tell those who make them that they will be banned if they don’t stop?

  48. Sounds good – how about further restricting it to registered voters in the District?

  49. Hi Will — I am in Arlington and not your constituent. I sometimes read your emails to better understand certain issues. I agree with your plan to limit your
    contact with non-constituents, and there’s not much you can do other than what you have stated. The only concern I have is being able to make a comment if you serve on a conference committee. As a member of a conference committee, it seems to me that you are representing more than your own district. In that case, I would try calling or emailing. Best wishes,
    Alice Trexler, Arlington

  50. Thank you for asking about this. IMHO you are well within your rights to limit dialog to constituents and, these days, with a total lack of constructive, civil dialog, there’s little point in letting yourself be spammed by outsiders. What is MUCH more important though is the clear statement that your true constituents are in your district, not the power brokers and big money who rule virtually all politics these days. As long as Citizens Unites stands NO politician has much credibility at all.

  51. Not an easy call, to be sure. It is certainly a more efficient use of your time and that of your team to deal only with constituent comments, but you lose other perspectives that might be relevant for your work. But you seem to get a pretty good range of perspectives from your constituents, so the other views might not add a whole lot. On balance, I think your change makes sense.

    1. Yes. It is a judgment call. But I really do have huge diversity of views right in my own district. And I get a lot of additional diversity from my colleagues.

      The problem is not getting enough input. The problem is managing it.

  52. Will, this makes sad sense. It’s a shame things have come to this now that there are so many more hidden persuaders pushing our buttons than there used to be.

    But I dispute this: “When statements I am not comfortable with are made, I am concerned that if I do not respond, I will appear to endorse or accept them.” I would not myself assume that a non-response (and I’ve had many, all over) signifies agreement. I really don’t think you need worry on that account.

    And should you ever aspire to higher office, you might consider adding “potential constituents” to your whitelist.

    I love what you’re doing to connect with constituents so frankly and openly. I know how much time it can take, so I hope you have help managing the flow.

  53. I have since moved out of your district but I remain on your mailing list as I appreciate your thoughtful take on issues and open dialogue with your constituents. I think this policy is reasonable and will beest allow you to focus on doing your job well. You are a model for other politicians. Keep it up.

  54. I agree with your change. You are conscientious and responsive, and I wouldn’t like to think you are wasting your time by feeling the need to respond to irrelevant comments that are designed to accomplish something other than your primary intention: to remain in good contact with your constituents and sensitive to our concerns.
    Michael Bennett

  55. Thanks, Will. May very well be the tenor of the times. Any indication that your site has been targeted by ‘bots’ or other semi-automated

    All best luck.

    Josh Alper

  56. Though I would lose my ability to comment, I think that limiting feedback to constituent s makes sense.

    1. You are in Arlington, right Steve? I always responded to all of Arlington even though I had only part — never paid attention to the exact boundary. Comments from Arlington will continue to be published.

  57. Your change in policy is entirely reasonable, as unfortunate as it may feel to have to implement it.

  58. Makes sense to me. There are plenty of forums for a wide range of writers all throughout social media. Keeping this local and relevant to the area will keep it focused.

  59. Glad to see that your policy includes former constituents. You were our former State Rep, and you continue to respond to our concerns.
    Thank you.

  60. Sounds fine. I’m not sure how you’ll verify former constituents, but that’s fine. I’m also someone who travels a lot across the US, but live and vote in Watertown. So I hope that where I’m commenting from doesn’t restrict me.

  61. Limiting comments on this venue to your constituents only seems to me to be a reasonable way to deal with the

  62. I would be sad if I didn’t have a way to make comments that you (or your staff) could read–you are not my senator directly (Cindy Freedman represents me) but I feel you to be an excellent senator whose approach to law and making decisions is similar to mine. I certainly understand the need for comment moderation, though, and the time it can take, so I support you in making whatever choice you feel you need to make. And if your office receives my comment (even if it’s not published) that satisfied the large majority of my interest in being heard by you.

    If you wanted to make a different choice, you could explore whether limiting comments to MA solved enough of the problem to be going on with. I also suspect that at some point you’ll need to deal with VPNs being used to spoof IP addresses. But it’s an arms race, and sometimes all you can do is stay ahead of it.

    Good luck.

    (68 Crosby Street, Arlington, MA, if it’s relevant.)

    1. Thanks for these thoughts. Since I used to represent Arlington, I’m considering you a former constituent. I always responded to all of Arlington even though I had only part — never paid attention to the exact boundary. Comments from Arlington will continue to be published.

  63. i totally agree, Will.
    You are serving the many thousands of people in your district — not answerable to anonymous and unidentifiable folks beyond those boundaries. There comes a time when one needs to tune out distractions in order to focus. Now is that time for you.

  64. Will, smart decision to get the opinions direct from those that you represent. That said, I credit you for going down this path as most politicians would want more exposure for their own purpose.

    Nice job.

  65. I think this makes sense, and I’d even go a step further and say it’s reasonable for you to mark current vs former constituents (with a little badge or something next to their names). I am a former constituent and remain ever interested in your communications, but I also recognize that at the end of the day, you don’t represent me anymore. There have been times I’ve actually held off on comments because I felt like it wasn’t really my place to chime in, since I’m not your constituent anymore.

  66. I would be more concerned if you were getting inflammatory or abusive email from random places and we’re unable to do anything about it. Worry more about hackers, something we never had to think about in the past.

  67. Will, I agree with you 100%. You make us proud of the wonderful work you do.

  68. Will,
    Good decision. Nicely explained.
    p.s. Did you consider sending the non-constituent comments to a separate link to appear for your followers to read if they so choose?

  69. Your approach was thoughtful and thought-provoking. I also agree with your decision.

  70. This seems completely reasonable. It would be nice to have more information on how you’ll verify constituents, but I can also understand if you want to keep that quiet to help prevent people from spoofing the system.

  71. Will, smart idea to get your comments from your constituents. That said, I give you a lot of credit to limit your exposure/access where most politicians would use this as a forum to spread their name.

    Credit to you for using this forum as it should be. A way to hear directly from the voters you represent.

    Best of luck and thanks,


  72. Hi Will

    Seems very reasonable. Non-constituents can reach you by mail, phoning your office, or by other means.

    It is easy to imagine that responding could eat up all your time and more. Thanks for all you do.


  73. Well done. Your approach makes 100% sense to me. You may find that you’ll want to make adjustments in one direction or another as time goes on. But let a bit of time pass first before you make those adjustments.
    Suspect that of as each of us adjust to the mega technological changes we live in there will be more changes.

    Good luck.

  74. This sounds like a smart plan, though I’m sorry that you are receiving unwanted comments.

  75. This is a fair response to the attempts to influence our district/State from outside our boundaries. In a sense you have experienced the same impact as we all have from “Dark Money”.

  76. Eminently reasonable.

    Sandra Rosenblum

    I have not made this comment before.

  77. Dear Senator:

    Yes, these days it’s hard to know from whom one is contacted on the internet, and we know that there has been a purposeful misuse of this medium, often to sow distrust and discord. I respect your feelings about limiting publication to actual people and those who are your constituents – especially someone such as yourself, who is so open to all perspectives. There is a distinction between being heard and being published, and not having a chance to air ones grievances on the open internet is not the same as being silenced. I think your anticipated policy change is wholly appropriate.

    Thanks for seeking input.

    – Dolly B

  78. Hi Will. I support this change. As a constituent, I want to know the opinions of other community members even if they differ from mine, but when outsiders weigh in out of pure political malice it clouds the dialogue in our own community and makes it hard to have a legitimate understanding of our needs and views. Thank you.

  79. I do not have an immediate problem with filtering comments to those you serve. However, it is not clear to me how this is enforceable unless registration is made far more onerous? IP address is not a reliable mechanism in general and made even more complicated unless you assume comments from your constituents can only be made from home computers on wifi.

  80. thanks, Will. I agree with your decision to limit comments to constiutents. I’m a big believer that “act locally” meant we focus our efforts on our immediate surroundings; hence, limit the amount of activity, including campaign contributions, coming from “out-of-district.” You are my only state senator and I appreciate your keeping that line of communication as open as possible to me an others you represent. Besides you could always open another web site for everyone other than your constituents. Thanks again, and thanks for asking.

  81. I whole heartedly agree with your policy. Thanks for removing the clutter but maintaining a view for all incoming comments.

  82. Sound decision. It is important to have open discourse but that assumes everyone is behaving responsibly and respectfully.

  83. Just write & publish with what makes you comfortable. I enjoy reading “ALL” your thoughts & ideas & will continue to do so. Strange world we are in & only seems to be getting worse by the day. Stay well & out of the heat

  84. Will: Eliminating non-constituent comments may be the only way to assure a reasonable level of civility. I have grown to regret the Internet acceptance of anonymous and bot-driven social-media reactions. There is some value in anonymous commentary, but I think verified real people would have much more civil interactions if they knew their words were being read and responded to by real people.
    I guess the embrace of anonymous irresponsible comment can’t be halted, however.

  85. Will, I wholeheartedly support your new policy, it’s a shame it has come to this.

  86. Very reasonable approach; your main priority is the citizens of the district that you were elected to serve. It is good to engage others with different viewpoints, but it can distract from your main focus.

  87. Will,I believe this change makes sense, though a reflection of a difficult reality. But can those of us* who are kindred spirits, totally support you and your work and have learned to rely on your judgments (votes) for guidance, somehow continue to post comments?
    Thanks so much (always)

    * non-constituents

    1. Thank you, Rozann.

      I am going by a simple geography rule — it doesn’t matter whether people are kindred spirits (although I’m always grateful for your support). I don’t want to exclude people who disagree.

      But you glad to say that you are a former constituent so you can continue to comment under the participation policy.

  88. Will, I support your thoughtful, proposed change to eliminate malicious comments.

    Thanks very much for your continued dedication.


  89. Ah, these are contentious times,,, I support your decision. We all need to limit over-exposure to stay focused. Thank you for all your hard work.

  90. I strongly support your decision in this matter.While I am a strong advocate of free speech,it does have its limitations. Those who abuse it as a means of feeding their own egos have no place here.
    Thank you for the existence and maintenance of this wonderful forum.

  91. This sounds like a reasonable approach in these uncivil times. However, limiting comments based on IP address may block constituents who are away from their homes (e.g on vacation) but still reading their email and responding to your messages. I’m sure this is only a few people at any one time. Perhaps you should allow comments from anyone on your current mailing list with verified home addresses in your district. Just a thought.

  92. thank you for your thoughtful and thorough reflection about this policy change. I agree and support your approach. And thank you for your dedication and service.

  93. I believe it is a reasonable policy to only publish comments from your constituents since as you say there are only so many hours in the day!

  94. I am a former constituent, now living about 10 blocks away but in a different town. I hope I can continue to receive the newsletters because I find them extremely valuable.

    1. No problem.

      To be clear, anyone can receive the newsletters. We are not limiting news distribution.

      As a former constituent, under this policy, we will also continue to publish your comments.

      Thanks for your engagement.

      All the best,


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