Article XIV of the state Constitution is designed to change state government to better respond to voters, not wealthy special interests; to reveal who is spending money to influence our elections; and to define ethical behavior and hold public officials accountable for it. In other words, North Dakota voters aimed to change the course of history when they soundly endorsed Article XIV on November 6, 2018 .
Now the real work of making those changes begins. Do not sit back and expect change to happen on its own. It's our government. Own it.
Impact How Article XIV Translates to State Law
During 2019-2020, the legislature's interim Judiciary Committee will write laws to define what Article XIV will mean 'in real life.' They need to know that people expect them to do so faithfully, not twisting it to benefit themselves like they did in the 2019 legislative session. Some may need to be reminded that the voters put Article XIV in the Constitution, and they have taken an oath to uphold, not undermine it. The committee's purpose, members, scheduled meetings, and agendas may be found here.
* Send a powerful message about your support for trustworthy government by attending Judiciary Committee meetings. The next one is September 25 at 9:00 in the Roughrider Room of the State Capitol. Talk with members during breaks, especially if one of them represents your district. Get to know them and explain why trustworthy government is important to you.
* Follow and respond to news stories about their work. Give them feedback directly, write a letter to the editor, tell your friends how it's going.
Impact How Ethics Works in State Government
After an extended member-selection process, the new state Ethics Commission members will take office on September 1, 2019. The Ethics Commission must organize itself, hire staff, establish policies and procedures, and other functional steps at the outset. It also must conduct its work by establishing ethics rules and investigating alleged ethical concerns. Find their purpose, members, and (eventually) office contact information here.
*Contact each member (here) to thank them for their willingness to serve. The Commission's workload this year is exceptionally heavy, and they are likely to spend a good deal of time on it. What they do shapes the meaning and enforcement of ethical conduct in state government. The future of trustworthy government in North Dakota is in their hands.
*Attend their meetings. Sign up to receive email notifications of their meetings here. Their first meeting will start at 1:00 on Thursday, September 12 and continue starting at 10:00 on Friday, September 13. Both meetings are in the Russell Reid Auditorium of the North Dakota Heritage Center.
Thank you for your on-going support for trustworthy, citizen-responsive state government!