On Thursday the state senate passed a strong Global Warming Solutions Act and sent it on to the house. The bill calls for 20% reductions by 2020 and 80% by 2050, and emphasizes green jobs training prorams. And Mass Youth Climate Action played a HUGE roll!
Since adopting the passage of this bill as our sole campaign goal in September, MYCA has organized a series of actions to put pressure on our legislators and it payed off.
“I was really worrid on Thursday morning”, said Saffron Zomer who lobbies for MassPIRG, a partner in the MYCA coalition, “They were in the session for hours, and students kept calling me to find out about what was going on. I didn’t know.”
The bill’s supporters prevailed, and the 20% by 2020 provision is intact and awaits the decision of the house. There the fight will be tougher, and we’ll need to increase the pressure of our tactics and the depth of our coalition, but we can do it.
MYCA’s campaign has escalated from a photo-petition and call-in day in the fall semester to a big part of all our Focus the Nation events. Since then, we’ve written valentines and organized a series of press hits and targed call-ins last week. The calls and valentines paid off. Williams college students sent valentines to Senator Brewer, and when I asked a staffer on the phone about the cards, she replied, “Oh of course I remember those cards.”
Campaign tactics are escalating towards a historic state-wide conference, Massachusetts Power Shift, on April 11th-14th. If the conference and lobby day succeed, our ambitious goal is to pass the GWSA by Earth Day. (That’ll be a sweet press conference!)
The conference itself is an impressive project of a very large, dynamic and committed group of organizers from schools, advocacy organizations and citizen groups. For example, an architecture association is contributing to the planning and hoping to leverage more architects to build greener.
I’m driving back from the third MAPS planning meeting, where over 50 people gathered to spend a Saturday devising the most amazing conference the state will have ever seen. I repeat, there have been 50 people at three planning meetings! This would have been considered an important state conference only a year ago. Instead, this is just a planning group working on bigger and more awesome things.