September 30th, 2015
by Taylor Pitchford
Working for the Missouri Volunteer Movement has been a great experience for me. I have had the privilege of watching it go from an idea shared by a small group of individuals, to forming a PAC (Political Action Committee), opening a bank account for the committee, building a website, and setting up a Facebook page.
Now this may not seem like a lot, but it has taken a lot of work and we have had to jump through a lot of hoops to accomplish this much. When trying to set up the PAC – which we had to set up in order to accept donations, in order to form an official party later down the road – we had to read through the Missouri ethics laws (a mess in itself). The problem was figuring out what kind of committee to form… and there were a lot of legal grey areas.
I decided to email the Missouri Ethics Commission in order to determine the best fit. When I didn’t receive a reply after a few days, I re-sent the exact same email with URGENT in the subject box. Suddenly, I received a reply by the end of the day.
The point I’m trying to make is that there are so many rules to learn, and so much nonsense to sift through, that it makes it difficult for citizens to be involved. Even if someone were to simply attempt to read the Missouri Constitution they would have a difficult time due to the large words and run-on sentences.
Another problem I noticed is that the state bureaucrats simply don’t seem to care whether what they deem as “ordinary” people are kept informed about, or understand, the regulations set up to participate in their government. We even attempted to reach out to the Secretary of State to have him assist us, and still have not received a reply over a month later. (Click here to read the full story.)
Citizens should have the ability to read and understand their state constitution and laws – otherwise how can they actively take part? With all of the nonsense prominent in politics this is nearly impossible for the average person. Therefore, the Missouri Volunteer Movement is determined to enact changes to make it possible.
Taylor Pitchford is a Volunteer leader in Jefferson County, and the secretary for Missouri Volunteers for Government Reform, a Political Action Committee (PAC) of the Volunteer Movement. Click here to read her bio or contact her.