OPEN HOUSE, Rep. Kaufman’s monthly public policy series, was launched in 1995 to provide a forum for discussing the challenges and opportunities facing our community and Commonwealth. While Rep. Kaufman invites guests with expertise and experience in the policy area under consideration, the public is an integral part of the program, and audience participation typically directs the conversation. OPEN HOUSE has been named the best television series by the Massachusetts Cable Television Commission, and was awarded the cable industry’s Beacon Award as the nation’s best government relations series. OPEN HOUSE is produced in partnership with the Lexington Historical Society and LexMedia, which films the forums for broadcast in eastern Massachusetts.

– Dates for the 23rd Season

– “Open House” Archive

Next Open House:

Kaufman’s OPEN HOUSE “Health Care Policy: Diagnosis, Prognosis”

December 21, 2017

There are few public policy issues more complicated and consequential than healthcare.  The debates about health policies have taken center stage both in state capitols across the nation and in Washington, DC.  What is at stake?  What are the challenges?  What are the opportunities?  How do we move beyond partisan wrangling over health insurance to deeper conversations about better health?  What’s good about the 2006 Massachusetts law and its successor, the national Affordable Care Act?  What’s not so good?  Where do we go from here?


“Immunity To Change: A Workshop on the Difficulty of Changing and Effecting Change”

January 18, 2018

This month’s “OPEN HOUSE” represents a side trip from the usual explorations of policy and politics. Mark Twain famously offered that “I’m all for progress; it’s change I can’t stand.” For all the talk of change, it’s hard to achieve! Just think of all those failed New Year’s resolutions or diet and exercise programs, or this nation’s “original sin, Reverend William barber’s term for the challenge of racial prejudice. So what does it take to change and to effect change? What stands in the way?

Those are the questions that animate the “Immunity to Change” exercise developed by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Their workshop invites us to explore the toots of our own resistance to change. It offers insights not only into what makes changes so difficult for us as individuals but also what it means for those in politics an public life trying to mobilize a community for something other than business-as-usual. Real leadership to effect positive change is rare, in part because most of us fail to understand what it means and what it takes to move people to a new place.

Come to the January “OPEN HOUSE” to experience the “Immunity to Change” workshop. Find out for yourself what stands in the way of your efforts to change. You’ll leave with new insights and with a protocol for continuing the work of identifying and addressing your immunity. And together we’ll have a chance to enhance our skills as change agents to address the fundamental challenges that are all about us as a community, Commonwealth and country.


“End of Life Issues”

February 15, 2018

The challenges – personal and societal – posed by issues arising near and at the end of life are complex as any we encounter. They are so challenging that, as a rule, we avoid confronting them. “OPEN HOUSE” is, among other things, an invitation to learn and think out loud together about issues large and small, and the March forum is a change to think about how we, individually and collectively, think or ought to think about death.

What are we to make of the “death with dignity” and “physician-assisted suicide” initiatives? Who makes decisions, and how do we think about the extraordinary costs of the last days of life? What are the ethics of end-of-life care and what are the ethical and legal considerations for those who would prefer to end their pain and suffering or that of their loved ones?