Mass Power Forward Coalition Thanks House Reps for Majority Support on All Grassroots Climate Priorities

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Mass Power Forward coalition of environmental activists, organizations, businesses, and faith leaders worked to push three priorities for this session:  Environmental justice, committing to 100% renewable energy, and equitably investing in green infrastructure through a carbon price and transportation initiative.  Through extensive efforts from the climate community, there are now over 81 cosponsors for each of the priorities in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, signaling clear majority support to act boldly on climate this session.

This Valentine’s Day, climate activists will be showing love to all those who support the priorities listed above and will be delivering personal Valentines to offices that cosponsored a priority bill.  

“It is because of the tireless work of advocacy groups and grassroots organizers that we are able to celebrate achieving majority support in the House for carbon pricing,” said Representative Jennifer Benson, sponsor of An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature to continue the fight for carbon pricing this session.”

“As the fourth hottest year on record, 2018 was no valentine for future generations,” State Rep. Lori Ehrlich said. “Governor Baker has committed Massachusetts to a regional carbon reduction plan for the carbon-intensive transportation sector with eight other states and Washington DC, so it is on us as leaders and advocates to make sure that implementation leads to sustainable, accessible, and innovative transportation outcomes.”

“Like fish out of water, people living in Environmental Justice (EJ) communities know exactly what EJ is and why it is so important.  Simply put EJ is personified in the red inhaler that far too many of our children and loved ones must carry with them because the air is too dirty to breath in their EJ neighborhoods.  Brockton is an EJ community and our kids are consistently among those with the highest childhood asthma hospitalization rates in the State,” said State Representative Michelle DuBois. “Passing the EJ Act this session will empower residents of EJ communities with the time, information and expanded opportunity they require to effectively advocate for their families in proposals to expand or site heavy-polluting industry in their neighborhoods.”

“I was born and raised in the Dudley triangle. It is my home," said State Representative Liz Miranda. "Once the poorest neighborhood in Boston, and the neighborhood most heavily polluted, Dudley’s residents fought for decades as an Environmental Justice (EJ) community to keep their homes safe, healthy, and vibrant. This has shaped my work as a legislator who cares deeply about environmental justice, racial justice, and economic empowerment. Children in my community suffer from asthma at five times the rate of children in other Boston neighborhoods. Passing the EJ Act will ensure that the voices of our most vulnerable citizens in EJ communities across the Commonwealth are heard, amplified, and protected. Environmental injustice is at the root of our poor public health outcomes. It is literally making us and keeping us sick.”

"Unitarian Universalist Mass Action is grateful for the majority support of our legislators.  There are almost 200 organizations in the Mass Power Forward Coalition, but we cannot create the future we're working for without our legislative champions.  It is encouraging to know that the majority of our legislators agree that a zip code shouldn't determine if a person will have asthma, people who are underemployed and unemployed should be trained for well-paid, green jobs and our only option is to transition Massachusetts to 100% renewable, clean energy for all, as quickly as possible," said Laura Wagner, Executive Director UU Mass Action.  

"Environmental justice communities like Chelsea, Lynn, Everett, Roxbury, Dorchester and others across the State, need bold action from our state legislators to protect our communities and our public health," said Maria Belen Power, Associate Executive Director of GreenRoots.  "Low-income communities and communities of color have carried the industrial and public health burden for too long. This is an issue of racial and economic justice. We applaud the 81 combined co-sponsors who took a stand to advance environmental justice in order to protect our communities and our entire state."

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Mass Power Forward is a coalition of environmental leaders, community development organizations, clean energy businesses, faith groups, neighborhood health and safety advocates, and Massachusetts families fighting for clean, affordable, reliable energy and a thriving economy.

Vick Mohanka
617-338-8131x205
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