Massachusetts Mothers Out Front's three legislative priorities
Stay Tuned for Upcoming Legislative Action
Ellie Goldberg, MA Mothers Out Front Legislative Team, May 2020
The Legislative Team is proactively advocating for our current legislative goals — environmental justice, carbon pricing, and the safe transition from retail gas to clean energy. As various climate bills move forward during an extended legislative session, we will be calling on Mothers Out Front members for timely and strategic action. We don’t know when, but we know in the next month or two there will be times when we’ll need you to make specific calls to legislators with only a day or two of notice.
The legislative process requires adapting to changes as bills win and lose support, as bill elements get combined, as coalitions emerge, and as strategies evolve. Covid-19 has occupied most of the legislature’s attention in the past few months and has influenced our strategy as well. Rather than restricting our focus to specific bills, our team is staying true to our values and goals while staying flexible about the most effective route to influence emerging legislation.
Since our volunteer capacity is finite and the legislative process is complex, we have benefited from participating in coalitions, especially the full time staff of many advocacy organizations. We rely on them to organize virtual meetings, provide updates and strategic guidance. We are grateful for the special interest and knowledge of a few Mothers Out Front members who have contributed to and are tracking legislative initiatives. We also appreciate the need to transcend the legislative "session" and plan for continuity.
Thank you in advance for joining us as we get closer to passing impactful climate policy in Massachusetts in 2020!
- S.464/H.4264, An Act relative to environmental justice and toxics reduction in the Commonwealth, would codify environmental justice policies. It has been moved out of committee to both chambers' Ways and Means Committees. The Senate's climate bill, An Act setting next generation climate policy, S. 2500, included elements of the bill such as representation of environmental justice communities in an advisory body and mandating equity in distribution of benefits and reduction of harm in communities disproportionately impacted by climate.
- H.2810, An Act to promote green infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions, puts a fair price on carbon pollution in the transportation and heating sectors, and other retail uses of fossil fuels. In the Senate, a few parts of the bill were included in S. 2500. In the House the bill remains in the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee (TUE).
- H.2849/S.1940 filed by Senator Cindy Creem, Rep. Lori Ehrlich and Rep. Christina Minicucci focuses on transitioning the gas utilities to selling renewable heat as well as safety and accountability issues in the meantime (FUTURE is an acronym: For a Utility Transition to Using Renewable Energy). In the Senate, important parts of the bill were included in S. 2500. In the House the bill remains in TUE.
Here is our tri-fold brochure to download and print featuring these priorities.
Other Bills We Support
In addition to our three legislative priorities for which we are harnessing Mother Power to pass this session, we have also endorsed several other bills. These are not bills that the Legislative Team is actively engaged with, but we want to lend the Mothers Out Front name on a list or letter from supporting organizations. Recently we endorsed:
Other bills that we have endorsed:
Interested in a bill that we haven't endorsed? We have a process for vetting bills to support. We need at least 48 hours if there is a deadline to sign on to a coalition letter. Contact Andra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for Action Alerts
- Sign up for MOF Action Alerts to get notified when we need everyone to call or email their legislators.
- Would you like to be added to a list of people who particularly want to show up for legislative events like hearings? Please let Andra know at email@example.com. The Legislative Team will use the list to send a special invitation to you for events at the State House, in your district, and online (like webinars on bills).
Know Your Legislators!
Find your State Legislators' phone numbers and email; look them up here. Once you've got their contact information, keep it handy on your phone or your fridge, and use it often! Our representatives rarely hear from their constituents more than once and a small group of Mothers can have a big impact by asking for their Rep to be a climate champion and checking back regularly to see what they did since you last talked. They work for us and our children, so get to know them.
Thank you for the help so many of you gave to H.2810, the carbon pollution fee and dividend bill.
With our allies, we created a buzz in the State House on January 14. Forty Mothers Out Front members and friends showed up for the hearing before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) and lobbying with our allies. Our Mothers panel made the environmental justice provisions in the bill vivid with personal stories by Connie Dawson, Agnieszka Rytych-Foster, and Sue Swanson. See the video here!
Also, about 40 Mothers Out Front members submitted personal written testimony that you can read here.
Thank you to all for showing up and supporting the FUTURE Act hearing
- 37 people testified for the FUTURE Act
- A bus came from Merrimack Valley with lots of folks from Lawrence and North Andover. Seven of them shared really powerful and moving testimony about their experiences over the last year.
- 4 moms from Mothers Out Front testified
- The room was packed including about 100 from Mothers Out Front.
- Boston Mayor Walsh testified in support of the FUTURE Act
- Bill Akley, President of Eversource Gas testified after us and announced their plan for 3 geothermal microdistrict pilots.
- If you want to see the 5 hours of testimony here is the video of the whole hearing.
Showing Up to Shape the Laws that will Determine Our Children's Future
Mothers Out Front was well represented at the State House on June 4th thanks to twenty members who were able to shirt up and show up. We were there to support one of our legislative priorities, Environmental Justice. The bills were heard by the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee; the room was packed and the testimony was lively. The legislators saw that we walk our talk.
Thanks also to the Legislative Team, the Environmental Justice Team, and staff members who worked together to get the word out with short notice.
What we did in January 2019
All the bills for the 2019-2020 legislative session are filed by our Representatives in the House this month. There's a mad rush to get as many Reps to cosponsor each bill before the deadline of February 3rd. Our goal is for every Community Team to meet with the Rep/s in their town, to introduce them to Mothers Out Front if they're a new Rep, and to ask them to cosponsor our two priority bills.
Learn how to run a Mothers Out Front lobbying meeting, and the exciting details of the carbon pricing and the FUTURE bills, and how to lobby your legislators the MOF way in these webinars:
- Webinar on Lobbying Legislators the Mothers Out Front Way. Here's a link to the recording. And a link to the slides.
- Webinar on the FUTURE bill.
- Thursday January 24th 11-3:00pm. Mass Power Forward Lobby Day
- Tuesday January 29th time tba. Clean Energy Future (carbon pricing coalition) Lobby Day.
This page is brought to you by the Mass Mothers Out Front Legislation Team:
Andra Rose, Ania Camargo, Ann Berwick, Bee Jay Baatz, Ed Woll, Ellie Goldberg, Hewon Hwang, Judy Leff, Marilyn Ray Smith, Mary Hutton, Melissa Downes, Nancy Clark, Peggy Duesenberry, Sharon deVos, Sue Swanson, Tanya Larkin, Zeyneb Magavi
For information, questions or to get involved, contact Andra at firstname.lastname@example.org.