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Mike has worked to increase the transparency of government and accountability of elected officials, both as a Mayor and as a Member of Congress.
- While Mayor of Somerville, Mike established the first local Ethics and Financial Disclosure ordinance in the Commonwealth, requiring elected officials and top appointees to disclose a host of financial information such as property ownership, business ventures and employment of immediate family members. Previously, voters had to rely on voluntary disclosure.
In January of 2007, then House Speaker Pelosi asked Mike to chair the bipartisan Special Task Force on Ethics Enforcement, a key component of her efforts to increase accountability on Capitol Hill.
- In March of 2008, Mike's work resulted in the creation of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). For the first time in the history of the House, private citizens would have the ability to review ethics issues raised by the conduct of elected officials and staff. The establishment of the OCE represented one of the most significant steps ever taken to strengthen ethics enforcement in the House.
A New York Times editorial recognized the creation of the OCE as a "significant improvement". Common Cause called the efforts "monumentally important" and a "tremendous improvement to the current system."
In a letter to Mike, Common Cause wrote, "we believe there could have been no better Representative than you to guide this process and effect real reform... We want you to know how very grateful Common Cause is to you for your incredible efforts on one of the most important and desperately needed reforms of our generation."
Mike is currently a member of the House Ethics Committee.