Several Mothers Out Front from MA were at the State House on November 7th for the Youth Stand-in. Randi’s daughter April gave an amazing speech expressing the urgency of acting now for climate change in the face of worsened natural disasters and melting ice caps. I was inspired by these children—from elementary-aged kids to college students—telling the governor that this is not a future problem, this is a now problem, and we need to act. They asked him to be the first governor to promise no new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state.
My little one was kind of tired….but you can still help with a sign sitting down.
By Beth Rodio, MA Mother Out Front
Mothers Out Front Janet Powers and Dorothy Anderson-Perales joined the Mass. Power Forward allies to stand in at the MA State House:
"Over the course of seven weeks over 100 residents have joined the lunch hour stand-ins outside the Governor’s office. Said Janet Powers 'We’ll keep coming back until the Governor does the right thing. The gas pipelines and power plants he supports are not needed, hurt our communities and cost us billions.'”
Our Gas Leaks Legislative Briefing at the State House (10/31) drew a great audience of senators, representatives, and their staff.
Zeyneb Magavi, Research Lead and Coordinator of Cambridge Mothers Out Front, presented the outcomes of our study to identify the biggest gas leaks.
"Almost a year ago, a group of Bedford citizens concerned about climate change started looking into what it would take for Bedford to become a Net Zero community. A Net Zero community offsets its annual greenhouse gas emissions with carbon-free energy production. We felt that this would be a concrete and meaningful way for Bedford to combat climate change. We were inspired by Cambridge, Somerville, Boston, Lexington, and Concord, communities that are currently implementing or developing Net Zero plans for themselves."
We knew it was a good sign when City Council’s President Michelle Wu presided over the Community Choice Energy (CCE) hearing with her baby in her lap. Climate change and its threats seemed more urgent with one of the youngest members of our community sitting on her lap. Clean energy advocates, including over twenty Mothers Out Front mothers - some with their own children by their side - packed the large room to demonstrate support for CCE. A day later the Boston City Council voted unanimously to implement it! CCE allows Boston to purchase 5% more clean energy than the state-mandated minimum. Over 200,000 households and small businesses will have access to clean energy without having to do more than just switch on their lights.
Amherst's Mothers have two items on the Town Meeting warrant. One calls for all new public buildings to be net Zero Energy. The other calls for support to go 100% renewable and introduces the California model of Community Choice Energy that we're working on with activists from Pelham and Northampton for a multi-community CCE.
We've presented to several town committees and are organizing members to email and call their TM reps. It's a great opportunity to involve members who aren't actively counting already. There has been lots of press, letters to the editor, and positive responses from the community.
Mother Out Front Renu Bostwick of Bedford is working with her team to push their town toward Net Zero Planning. Read her article for The Bedford Citizen.
Moms take the mic and raise the stakes at the RTO public forum:
"The forum’s 150 attendees were mostly industry stakeholders, regulators and RTO officials. But there was also a three-woman contingent from Mothers Out Front, a climate change activist group, who pressed RTO planners on the region’s continued reliance on fossil-fueled generation. Carol Chamberlain, of Arlington, Mass., raised concerns about methane leaks in the natural gas supply chain. Randi Soltysiak, of Somerville, Mass., criticized the RTO’s plan for not shifting more heavily to carbon-free sources."
In Massachusetts, "the Gas Leaks Allies — a coalition of 21 environmental groups, researchers, legal and policy experts, health professionals, labor unions, community organizations, and MOTHERS — are ready to help..." the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) "find manageable ways to measure and monitor methane emissions so we can establish dramatic but achievable goals." #TogetherWeCanDoThis
On September 7th, Mothers Out Front team reps were at the state house in the morning to join 350MA for a meeting with Sen. Cindy Friedman and her Policy Advisor, Deborah Brown.
From Judith Glixon, Lexington Mother Out Front:
"We were, by the end of the meeting, 9 of her constituents (representing 350 Mass, Mothers Out Front, Jewish Climate Action Network, and a few other organizations) asking her to provide testimony on behalf of the bills that 350 Mass has prioritized in their "350 Mass Legislative Agenda," which you can see here.
The outcome was as follows:
Sen. Friedman is in favor of, and will provide testimony to T.U.E. for, all the issues listed, with the exception of the carbon pricing bills which she says she still needs more information on to better understand them. She stated that she welcomes any and all input related to all of these bills. She also recommended that no legislators' support should be taken for granted on any bills, so they should be lobbied regardless of what our assumptions are about their views."