Why We Fight

We fight, even against insurmountable odds, because sometimes we win.

As I get ready to head to Copenhagen this Saturday for the international climate negotiations, I’m thrilled to see the success of The Leadership Campaign and their efforts to have Massachusetts use 100% clean electricity by 2020.

On Monday, Representative William Brownsberger will file their bill, An Act to Re-power Massachusetts, in the Massachusetts House, calling on Gov. Deval Patrick to create a task force to formulate a plan to get Massachusetts to100% clean electricity by 2020.

To draw attention to their campaign, they have refused to sleep in homes, dorms, apartments powered by dirty electricity until Massachusetts commits to 100% clean electricity in 10 years. Since October 25, hundreds of students, activists and engaged citizens have spent at least one night camping out. Some haven’t slept in a bed in over a month — [check out a personal account here].

Each Sunday, members of the campaign come together to camp out on the Boston Common. They face citations for violating the 11pm curfew, but each week they gladly except the consequences of their protests.

Last May, I wrote about how climate activists need to rethink the rules of engagement and not accept the “rules” of a rigged game. I’m thrilled to see the students and leaders of the Leadership Campaign doing just that. It’s a great sign for our cause and an example we can all follow.

If you’re in Boston this weekend, join the Leadership Campaign for their final sleepout on the Boston Common. They’ll be joined by one of my favorite people, Rev. Lennox Yearwood of The Hip Hop Caucus. The rally begins at 3pm at the Boston Common across from the Statehouse.

This entry is cross-posted at Green Owl Records.

About Billy

Billy Parish is co-founder and president of Mosaic, a solar investment platform. He's also co-author of Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money & Community in a Changing World. In 2002, he dropped out of Yale to found the Energy Action Coalition and grew it into the largest youth advocacy organization in the world working on the climate crisis. A serial social entrepreneur, Parish has helped launch dozens of clean energy, youth, and green jobs related companies and organizations. He has been honored as a Rolling Stone magazine “Climate Hero,” one of Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World," and was elected as a Fellow by Ashoka, the global association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and two daughters. @BillyParish

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