I have recently received a number emails calling on me to take a
“People’s Pledge” to transparency. The People’s Pledge itself very much reflects my personal approach to legislating and I do hereby affirm the pledge immediately appearing below:
- I swear that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of State Legislator to the best of my ability.
- I affirm that I will put my constituents first—before corporate interests and their lobbies.
- I affirm that I will hold this legislative seat and conduct all legislative business in the public light, honoring transparency and a commitment to full disclosure.
The emails put that pledge in a larger context of public policy debate. The preamble to the pledge reads:
I write today asking you, as my state legislator, to reaffirm your commitment to your constituents by signing a Peoples’ Pledge for the Right Priorities. We learned last year through documents published by The Guardian that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) had considered a proposal to have legislators take a loyalty pledge, putting “the interests of the organization [ALEC] first.”
Instead of pledging “to advance free markets, limited government, and federalism,” I believe legislators should work to advance the concerns of most importance to their constituents. But the truth is that ALEC’s priorities are not the priorities of your constituents; their extreme right-wing agenda purely exists to help grow the profits of the companies they represent, not to help strengthen the middle class or create economic opportunities.
Please join me in standing up for our democracy by signing the Peoples’ Pledge to put constituents over corporations . .. .
I don’t frame the world the way the authors of the form email do — as a fight between corporate and individual interests. I think the world is more complicated than that and it is harder to sort out good guys and the bad guys. But I’m very pleased to affirm the pledge as above.