In response to the 2003 Massachusetts Democratic Convention directive to develop an instrument by which to measure individual legislator's support for the Democratic party Platform, the Public Policy Committee of the Democratic State Committee created the "Support Card."

The Support Card questionnaire will ask each state representative and state senator to describe his/her legislative record of platform support, including bills he/she initiated, co-sponsored, or voted for. Legislators' written reponses will be reproduced on the Democratic State Committee's website, allowing easy access for voters. If legislators refuse to answer the questionnaire, that fact will be noted as well.

We believe the Support Card will provide a comprehensive profile of Democratic lawmakers' commitment to party ideals. Moreover, legislators will have an opportunity to fully explain their positions. The Support Card will be a meaningful assessment of each legislator's record.

At the same time, we believe the "score card" approach is arbitrary, reporting a legislators voting record without the context for votes taken. Legislators may take votes based on procedural strategies not necessarily reflective of the individuals longterm goals, and may be misleading without a clarifying explanation.

Those familiar with the legislative process will recognize that bills are controlled by the legislative leadership who decide which bills are heard and which die. Therefore, all planks of the Democratic Platform may not be reflected in legislative activity.

The Support Card will allow voters to weigh and understand a legislator's record against the Party Platform and those of other legislators.

Martina Jackson, Chair
Democratic State Committee Public Policy Committee