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The Value of Open Public Records
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MGC's NERGC Panel on Open Records: Citizens Can Make a Difference
General Legislation
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How many deaths before the SSDI gets updated again?
Legislation Federal
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Model Letter to Congressman


[SUBSITUTE PROPER INFORMATION FOR YOUR OWN STATE AND LEGISLATOR]

 

Date

 

Honorable Full Name

State of Massachusetts

Senator/Representative/Chair of XXX Committee

Massachusetts State House, Room XXX

Boston, MA 02133

 

Re: OPPOSE or SUPPORT Bill Number: AB XXX or SB XXX

 

Dear Sen./Rep./Chairman XXX:

 

I am a constituent, residing/working in city, state. [If you represent a genealogy society, give the name and number of members plus a very brief description.]

 

Since 1641 Massachusetts has had open access to records. We believe this bill to be in direction contravention to Massachusetts law (Massachusetts Public Records Access 950 CMR 32.00; GL c.66 §1, 2006 ed). While the proposed bill is a well-meaning effort to protect Massachusetts residents from identity theft, it has rarely been documented that an individual's identity is violated by access to vital records. Rather, the violations occur due to computer breaches from government and private enterprises.

 

Access to vital records is critical not only to hobbyist or tourist genealogists. Increasing numbers of physicians are requesting family medical histories which help save lives by tracing genetically inherited attributes and aid in locating potential blood, bone marrow and organ donors. These can only be done via access to vital records. The United States government hires genealogists to track down living family members of servicemen lost in previous conflicts, and without access to vital records this is much more time-consuming, if not impossible.

 

[Your additional thoughts…]

 

 

Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Your name

Address

Phone number

E-mail