Pages tagged "MA"

  • Strategy Workshop for Campaigns

    Learn how to mobilize mothers and plan a winning campaign. Strategy involves deciding what you want, figuring out who can give it to you, then figuring out how to get them to give it to you. A key piece of the planning is power analysis -- understanding the power of the decision maker(s) and what power you have to influence their decision.  

    This workshop will be particularly useful for leaders designing campaigns on the state or local level.

    December 13, 2020 at 4pm
  • 2020 Conference Committee Letter

    August, 2020

    Honorable Members of the Climate Bill Conference Committee:

    Mothers Out Front congratulates the House and Senate on the passage of thoughtful and comprehensive climate legislation. We are gratified that both H4933 and S2500 include the mandate of Net Zero emissions by 2050 and that both authorize geothermal microdistrict projects as originally described in the FUTURE Act. We look forward to seeing these provisions in the final bill. 

    We also ask you to consider the following Mothers Out Front priorities.

    1. Include H4933’s definitions of Environmental Justice Principles and Environmental Justice Population, as found in Sections 15NN-15RR, H.4933 (lines 687-831) They acknowledge that environmental injustice occurs in low-income communities and in communities of color, and they establish clear mechanisms to identify said populations.
    2. The urgency of the climate crisis calls us to tighten the timeline for emissions limits, benchmarking and reporting. We ask the Committee to adopt the emissions limits in Section 3 of S2500.
    3. Include Net Zero stretch code language to enable municipalities to adopt the Net Zero stretch code as set out in S2500, Section 30, clause and in 14, Sections 31, 42 and 54. We also support expansion of the Bureau of Building Regulations and Standards membership as proposed in Sections 15A-15F, S2500.
    4. Increase solar project capacity to 25 kW, as provided in Section 2 of Amendment #16 to H4912. This addresses the need for more solar generation to meet the Commonwealth’s emissions goals and create local clean energy jobs. Also, adopt Section 17 of the final version of H.4933, addressing the cap for certain net metering facilities and any credits accrued in excess of annual electricity consumption by those facilities.
    5. Reject the expanded definition of non-carbon emitting sources now in H4933. Municipal Light Plants should not be allowed to include more biomass, landfill methane gas, trash, anaerobic digestion and wood as in the House’s proposed new greenhouse gas emissions standard. Only resources that are qualified under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard or the new Clean Energy Standard. 

    Mothers Out Front is a grassroots movement dedicated to a swift, complete, and just transition  from fossil fuels to clean, renewable, and sustainable energy in order to ensure a healthy and viable future for all children. We thank you for your support for these goals and look forward to a climate bill that is robust, equitable and fully committed to mitigating climate change.


    Ellie Goldberg, Newton, and Hewon Hwang, Concord

    On Behalf of the Massachusetts Mothers Out Front Legislation Team

  • 2020 House climate bill - amendments

    Below are the amendments Mothers Out Front supported on the Massachusetts House climate bill, H.4912 which passed on July 31, 2020.

    Amendments Passed:


    Amendments withdrawn:

  • H.4555 - An Act for Field Safety in Gas Infrastructure

    Sponsors: Rep. Frank Moran of Lawrence in the House and Sen. Cindy Friedman of Arlington in the Senate.

    This bill is based on lessons learned from the tragic Merrimack Valley gas explosion in 2018. This bill significantly enhances safety rules to protect the general public, first responders, and gas workers from dangerous conditions that may occur when crews are working on gas systems.

    Currently, gas utilities depend too much on outside contractors to perform hazardous work. This bill creates a certification process to improve the tracking and rating of these companies. The bill also requires common sense improvements such as improved communication between towns and utilities regarding roadwork and gas leak repairs, increased inspections of gas pipelines, and improved access to under-street gas shutoffs that protect homes and businesses from fires and explosions.

    Read more
  • Legislative End Game

    URGENT: All Hands on Deck!

    The Massachusetts two-year legislative session is scheduled to end on July 31. We have yet to bring meaningful climate change legislation to a vote in the House this session. Our children cannot wait 2 more years for bold climate action.  

    Make Calls!

    Please contact your State Representative to help Mothers Out Front accomplish its goal of ensuring “a swift, complete, and just transition away from fossil fuels and toward clean and renewable energy.” More information and a sample call script is below.

    If you do not know who your State Representative is, check here.  Then please call and/or email your Representative to:

    • Thank them for the Legislature’s dedication and extra work to keep us safe during the pandemic.
    • Remind them that there are critically important bills still in the House Ways and Means Committee that need to be voted on by the full House.  Tell them that you are ready to see the Legislature take on meaningful climate legislation now, in addition to their work to address Covid-19.
    • Ask them to contact Rep Aaron Michlewitz, the Chair of the Ways & Means Committee, and Robert DeLeo, the Speaker of the House, and request that the following bills get passed out of Committee and put up for a floor vote:
    • And finally, thank them again for making strong climate action a priority this session.

    When these bills come to a vote, we will contact you again, with a list of amendments that make sure our priorities are included.

    Here's a call script you can customize:

    Hello, I’m <your name>, and I live in <town>.  I’m also a member of Mothers Out Front. First, thank you for the dedication you have shown and the non-stop work you and your colleagues have been doing to keep us safe during the pandemic. 

    Now I’m ready to see the Legislature take on meaningful climate legislation, in addition to your work to address Covid-19.  Today I am calling to ask for your support for three critically important bills that are still in the House Ways and Means Committee, and need to be voted on by the full House:

    • H.3983, the 2050 Roadmap bill
    • H.4264, the Environmental Justice bill

    Please ask the House leadership to move these bills forward for a floor vote.

    Again, thank you for making strong climate action a priority for this session!

    Read more
  • Environmental Justice Legislation

    Environmental Justice (EJ) is a civil rights principle:  all people have a right to be protected from environmental pollution and to live, learn, work, play, and pray in and enjoy a clean and healthy environment regardless of race, income, national origin, or English language proficiency.

     - Excerpt from a letter written by Massachusetts Environmental Justice organizations. For full letter, click here.

    Our Commonwealth’s frontline communities face the combined injustices of lives disproportionately lost to COVID-19, centuries of government-sanctioned racial oppression, and extreme environmental and health effects of fossil fuel infrastructure. And as we know, these evils are all related and hurt families with children and elders most. 

    Expressing the principle of environmental justice in law has important practical consequences for protecting people across the state because:

    • Low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to be in the shadows of multiple sources of pollution including dirty power plants, incinerators and landfills, roads with high auto & diesel emissions, and high obstacles preparing for and recovering from climate-change related disasters.
    • Massachusetts regulatory agencies such as the Dept. of Environmental Protection, the Dept. of Public Utilities, and the Dept. of Transportation need a clear legislative mandate to prioritize the protection of low-income communities and communities of color, instead of continuing to let pollution sources accumulate in already-overburdened communities and neglecting those communities when preparing for and recovering from climate change.

    We must pass H.4264, An Act relative to environmental justice in the Commonwealth this session. This bill will codify into law guidelines that the Baker Administration has not followed, which is why Mothers Out Front has supported prior versions of this bill since 2017.

    EJ legislation has languished in the state legislature, in part because of the use of race as one criterion for defining what constitutes an Environmental Justice population. H.4264 is a new bill that clarifies aspects of the definition including that affluent minority communities would not be given EJ status under most circumstances. This change has eliminated much of the original opposition to the early bills. In addition, Environmental Justice organizations have addressed the need for EJ legislation that includes race in a letter to State House leaders.

  • Three Actions to Take June 15-19

    Mothers are a powerful force at the intersection of COVID-19, racism, and climate. Below are three opportunities to use your power this week:

    First, please write and call your Massachusetts State Senator TODAY about the safe and fair election bill S. 2755. 

    Second, use social media on Thursday 6/18 to say now is the time to plan for getting Massachusetts off gas.

    Third, support Black Lives Matter and environmental justice on Juneteenth, Friday 6/19.

    Read more
  • Switch the Source Newsletter May 25, 2020, Issue #84


    Updates and information about our Massachusetts statewide activities

    May 25, 2020


      • New MA Leadership Team Takes Office
      • Stay Tuned for Upcoming Legislative Action 
      • Virtual House Party, June Debut
    • Calendar 
      • Ask your MA State Legislators - Tues., May 26, at 12:00 pm 
      • Weymouth Compressor Station - Tues., May 26, 5-6:15 pm
      • How Gas Leaks Affect Our Trees - Thurs., May 28, 1-2 pm
      • Pass Bold Climate Legislation in 2020 - Deadline by May 31
      • Team Needs Assessment Survey: Community Team Leader Tools and Technology Assessment
      • Share your story about voting ahead of Election Day
    • Recommended Reading
      • Webinar Recording: Two Public Health Crises: Coronavirus and Climate Change - The Path Forward
      • Op-Ed Article: Want to prevent the next pandemic? This doctor is prescribing climate action
      • Article: Good News In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S
    • Resources
      • COVID-19 Updates and Information
        • Food Link MA Fights Food Insecurity
        • COVID-19 Community Aid
        • Support our neighbors in Chelsea, East Boston, and Lawrence


    Read more
  • Path to Power

    PATH TO POWER: Structuring our work for statewide impact 

    At the April 4 virtual state assembly, “Creating Our Path to Power,” we reviewed a proposed organizational structure for Mothers Out Front Massachusetts. On April 18, we will meet again by zoom to vote on adopting this proposal. Your vote is important. Please join us on April 18, 3:30-5:30 pm: RSVP here

    Since Mothers Out Front’s founding seven years ago, the vision has been to build a national movement that is both locally rooted and able to make change happen at the state and national levels. We know that most moms and other caregivers who join our movement want to engage at the community level, and when we act locally we are able to break the overwhelming problem of climate change down into actionable pieces. At the same time, we know that we have to scale our power and work at state and national levels to address a problem of such magnitude.

    Over the last seven years, Mothers Out Front Massachusetts has grown rapidly and become increasingly successful.  We now have 22 Community Chapters, multiple statewide campaigns and resource teams, a Massachusetts Leadership Team, and paid staff. The organizational structure that worked well in our early years no longer provides the degree of coordination and nimble response needed to keep moving forward.

    This need to better positions ourselves for the future lead to the recent creation of the Path to Power Leadership Team, including founders Kelsey Wirth and Vanessa Rule, state leadership, and our state organizing manager. They were joined by Marshall Ganz, founder of the Leading Change Network (a major influence on Mothers Out Front) and two consultants from that organization, Natalie and Jake. 

    Working together, they followed the process outlined in the diagram below and designed a new organizational structure presented in the Path to Power MA Structure Proposal (Links to the Proposal and the Executive Summary)

    The proposed new structure is designed to preserve the best of Mothers Out Front Massachusetts, while strengthening our collective power to effect transformative change in the Commonwealth.  Going forward, it also provides:

    • representational leadership
    • clarity of roles and mutual accountability
    • clear and nimble decision-making processes

    The Mothers Out Front Massachusetts Path to Power Charter defines the different types of local and statewide leadership teams that are created in MOF-MA to support the work of our members across the state. The Charter explains how our members delegate decision-making authority to these teams through a democratic process of voting. It describes team commitments, and outlines the teams’ clear areas of responsibility. And it describes how our members come together to choose and implement statewide campaigns that leverage the power we build locally for statewide impact, and beyond.

    This Charter is intended to be adapted as our movement grows, and as we learn more about how we want to more effectively organize ourselves.

    The basic components of our new MA structure are shown in this diagram. Definitions are provided at the end of this article.



    What it means to be a member of Mothers Out Front is defined by our national organization. Members commit to representing and advancing Mothers Out Front’s values, and contribute annual dues to support the organization. (There is a waiver for anyone unable to contribute that amount for dues).

    Why dues?  Why now?  Dues make a reliable membership count possible.  Membership numbers show our growing power as an organization.  Dues reduce dependence on outside funding.

    Active members are members who a) participate in an orientation to Mothers Out Front’s organizing framework, and b) take action at least once every six months (e.g., attending a meeting, event, or action; materially assisting in organizing work).

    In Massachusetts, active members vote on who represents them on Community Leadership Teams (CLTs). All chapters are represented proportionally in the annual Massachusetts State Assembly.

    Local Organizing

    The Community Chapter and Community Leadership Team are our fundamental building blocks. 

    A Community Chapter includes all MOF members in a community. Anyone over the age of 18 can join as a member of a Community Chapter. 

    A Community Leadership Team (CLT) is the smaller, representative leadership team of a Community Chapter, elected by active members of the Chapter. The CLT’s role is to organize Chapter work, including choosing and implementing a local campaign, engaging members, and growing membership.

    Statewide Organizing

    The Massachusetts Leadership Team (MALT) is the representative leadership team of our MA Chapter (which includes all members of MOF-MA). The MALT includes elected representatives from our Community Chapters, Campaign Team representatives, and Resource Team representatives.  The MALT’s role is to set statewide policy, ensure members have the support they need from Resource and Campaign Teams, and regularly assess the overall health of our movement in Massachusetts.

    The Core Team is a sub-team of the MALT, elected by the MALT, that handles emergent issues that affect our statewide organization in a timely way, organizes the work of the MALT, and ensures coordination of our statewide organizing.

    The Statewide Assembly is the annual community-building, learning and decision-making event where MA members come together to consider and vote on statewide campaigns (every other year), and to confirm MALT membership. Every Community Chapter can vote at the State Assembly, with the number of votes proportional to the number of members in their community.

    A Campaign Team develops and implements statewide campaigns that are chosen by MOF-MA members at the State Assembly. Campaign Teams have representation on the MALT and Core Team to ensure statewide campaigns are integrated into and aligned with our broader movement. Nominees for Campaign Team coordinators and representatives to the MALT and Core Team are included in campaign proposals and voted on at the State Assembly.

    Resource Teams provide support for essential organizational functions and guidance on cross-cutting substantive and practical issues as defined by the MALT (E.g., Legislative Team, Training Team, Communications Team, Environmental Justice Team). Membership on a Resource Team is open to all members of MOF-MA who commit to the Team’s goals.  Resource Teams are overseen by the MALT.




  • For Parents with Children at Home

    Below are resources collected by local mothers and by National staff (see other resources on the National Mothers Out Front coronavirus resource page).

    Kids Home?

    We're making so many adjustments personally that it is completely understandable if all you can deal with is children out of school. Here's some great resources. To share ideas you've found, please comment on this page.

    Earth Week programs

    See all Massachusetts Mothers Out Front's Earth Day activities for April 22-24 here.

    Thursday April 23 at 12-1pm, Children Explore and Design Renewable Energy. This Zoom program is for children ages 5-10 to have fun and be empowered to create while their parents participate in one of the many events at the same time.

    Thursday April 23 at 6:00-6:30pm, Earth Day Supper Time Concert. Mother and father duo sing and play guitar with songs for the whole family. 


    Live programs by Mothers

    Mothers Out Front East Boston's Sonja Tengblad offers regular music and movement classes by Zoom.
    We'll sing, dance, play drums (via kitchen supplies), make instruments, learn rhythm ... get all the feels and wigglies out.
    For more information, see this Facebook page or Sonja's personal website
    Mothers Out Front Amherst's Anna Sobel offers a free, weekly crafts activity using simple materials. Tuesdays 3pm at Talking Hands Theater Facebook page. Every week she makes another puppet or prop starting with a toilet paper roll! Past episodes are available on the page.


    Home Schooling, MA Dept of Ed with WGBH

    Scholastic Work at Home: Day-by-Day Projects to keep kids reading, thinking and growing

    Khan Academy, a non-profit organization with daily schedules and lesson plans for students ages 4-18 to keep them learning.

    Parenting during coronavirus: What to know about play dates, education and more. Washington Post, March 14, 2020

    Click here for a sample family schedule (planned and actual with humorous notes you'll relate to) from a fellow Mother Out Front


    For fun and enrichment:

    Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (Video), Travel & Leisure, March 12, 2020

    Need to Get Outside? These 5 National Parks Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From the Comfort of Home (Video) just made hundreds of audiobooks available for free

    Professional Photographers of America (PPA) 1,100+ Online Photo Classes Are Currently Free; just click here to create your free account.

    Guitar Salon International and Elite Guitarist have teamed up to offer free guitar instruction for 30 days.