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Our current 2 petitions are privacy and healthier tech for which we need funds to move forward successfully – scroll down for details.
PETITION INITIATIVES FOR MASSACHUSETTS BALLOT
What is a petition? Massachusetts voters can place questions on the ballot for voters to decide on legislation, if at least 74,574 MA registered voters correctly sign and file a petition for a law (in September).
Why not ask the legislature to pass legislation instead? We’ve seen that often only weak measures move forward to die in the state legislature, and we blame industry influence and inability to address the thousands of bills before the legislature. We believe that if we can build a strong ballot question organization, we can put forward legislation people truly want and need.
2023 Petition Initiative on Non-Ionizing Radiation Limits
Non-Ionizing radiation is emitted by electronics, wireless antennas, and electricity. We need exposure limits because experts, including several recently retired U.S. NIEHS leaders, say there is evidence of harm. Caution is wise, especially since other countries have set wiser limits! See our online campaign donor page for more reasons and evidence.
DONATE online OR BY CHECK to RadLimits at Last Tree Laws!
We have a small goal of $100 a day, about 3,000 in the bank a month since petitions require funds – we’re just starting, if you’re here, your small donation would help us reach our goal.
2023 Petition Initiative on Privacy Rights
Because data and tech today can be used to predict and profile; nudge and influence; target critics and competition; see into homes; stalk; steal; and feign identities, we need formalized state privacy rights and protections. We can incorporate the best of protections suggested in current state legislation. In addition, we can strengthen protections to prevent requirements to agree to give up data for purchases, online access, or employment.
The data that can be harvested is incredible, and the implications for societal influence shocking. Tech companies are investing in tech to read minds – you can see a video at the World Economic Forum of this tech, which is in use already. Uses include to identify amorous feelings of employees (at 2:03). At 19:07, the presenter suggests people can quit their jobs if they don’t like this. At 21:37, the presenter states undesirable thoughts can be disrupted or prevented with brain wave technology.
This is proposed as a constitutional amendment because the Supreme Court, including newcomers on the right, suggested that it would respect state constitutional rights. However, we’ll look into whether this is necessary, because a law would be speedier.
DONATE online or BY CHECK TO PRIVACY RIGHTS AT LAST TREE LAWS!
We have a small goal of $100 a day in February or $3000 a month in February. Petitions require a lot of funds — if you’re here, your small donation will help us toward this goal!
Q1. When can I sign in support?
Signature gathering must be from registered Massachusetts voters beginning in the fall through early November and again for a second signature gathering session the following spring.
Check your voter registration or register here! People who have not voted for 4 years or registered in that time get removed from voter lists. Please register to vote by August of this year and follow our campaigns to get details on the future signature drive.
Signature gathering success depends on state certification of the petition, thousands of signatures, delivery of official forms to town clerks by deadline, and delivery of enough certified signatures to the secretary of state. We are starting now to prepare for this task. We need your support now!
Q2. Have these petitions been certified by the state?
In 2022, a privacy rights submission was approved. In 2022, a radiation limits submission was not based on about 2 paragraphs within many pages. We are working on strengthening these proposals for submission in 2023, and expect both to be approved.
Q3. Why support these petitions?
We plan to create promotional materials, but so far we’ve simply put an explanation on the donation page for RadLimits at Last Tree Laws and a more limited version on the donation page for Privacy Rights at Last Tree Laws.
In short, industry has too much influence on government that only the people can bypass. Technology is unregulated, and this causes harm to health, culture, and democracy.
Lack of privacy, for example, supports blackmail, stalking, and manipulation. Our data was used to gerrymander voting districts across the country. In sum, our data is often used to our detriment without penalty.
Ignoring science showing harm from wireless radiation, for example, has long caused harm in urban areas and has led to a continuing expansion into rural and residential areas. This expansion is eliminating areas formerly safe from cell tower antennas in order to foster driverless cars, supersonic planes, surveillance, and other economic or military interests. Formerly safer areas are now being covered with powerful new wireless technologies, from 5G antennas on street poles to Ring or similar wireless networks, often without notice, permitting, or healthy regulation.
Q4. Why not get the state legislature to pass this legislation?
Please join our email list at the top of the page to help us convince the state legislature to do so.
We and others have lobbied the legislature on these topics. So far, through 2022, useful legislation has failed to come to vote. Legislators may express support but any bills that have moved forward have allowed industry to continue with harm. Some legislators have expressed support while putting forward bills that do the opposite. A related problem is that house representatives have had uneven staff support and uneven or little time to research and consider bills, and at the end of each legislative session bills are usually brought to vote in large blocks rather than in timely way with votes on individual topics. The Speaker of the House, Ron Mariano, is said to wield control over which bills progress and he has shown little interest. The Speaker Mariano’s district is in 3rd Norfolk, including the Quincy, Weymouth, and Holbrook — we’d love to have voters from those areas engage in lobbying the Speaker of the House.
Q5. Are you submitting these petitions to the state legislature?
These petitions will be submitted if there are enough signatures. The legislature is given the chance to vote on any initiative petition that is successful.
Petitions for a law are voted upon by the legislature shortly after enough signatures are gathered, before the first Wednesday in May, and if approved becomes law and if not, is placed on the ballot for voters to decide.
Petitions for a constitutional amendment are placed on the ballot for voters to decide provided that in 2 legislative sessions the petition comes to a vote and wins the support of at least 25% (50) of the 200 legislators.
Q6. Why two petitions?
We will bundle them for signatures. If adequate funds, we would consider bundling more than two petitions.
Radiation limits was chosen first because of concerns over health impacts, because if we lose our health we struggle to do anything at all.
Privacy rights were chosen next because these rights could help derail the extreme power of the technology industry, protect democracy, and reduce antennas that serve only to gather frivolous data.
Q7. How can I help?
We welcome all kinds of help. We are looking for staff who can volunteer, including for fundraising, software management, website security, taxes, other legal, etc. – you name it. We do not know if or when we can pay anyone — this will depend on finances and expertise.
We also need donations. For example, we need several thousand to cover organizing software to help with signature gathering. We’d also love to pay for some staff, such as to help organize signatures.
We’d love help lobbying and educating the state legislature. You can ask your legislators to support and sponsor our bills in early 2023. Please join our email list at the top of this web page, to receive a timely email on this topic.