Massachusetts: Follow Our Lead

Yesterday I had the honor of delivering the Commonwealth Challenge to Massachusetts lawmakers, asking them to pass “An Act to Create a Repower Massachusetts Emergency Task Force”, a bill that would set up a task force to pursue 100% clean electricity by 2020. Marla Marcum and I delivered a letter describing the results of the campaign along with the 350 names (coincidence?) of those who have taken the Commonwealth Challenge Pledge to the 160 Massachusetts State Representatives and 40 State Senators.

Thanks to the actions of the Commonwealth Challenge participants and the courageous efforts of the Leadership Campaign, yesterday afternoon Chairman John Binienda indicated that he would have the conversations necessary to move our bill out of the Rules Committee in the House of Representatives. This is a critical step that would allow the bill to get a full hearing.

Earlier in the day, I was privileged to announce (dressed in Colonial brown) the accomplishments of the Commonwealth Challenge at the “Climate Courage Awards” in the Massachusetts State House:

Commonwealth Challenge

“Hello. I am Paul Revere. 235 years ago in April, I rode across the Massachusetts countryside to mobilize patriots against an impending threat. Today, there is a threat even more daunting. Facing the worst unemployment since 1976 and a climate crisis threatening to wipe out countless species and millions of lives around the world, the people of Massachusetts have taken matters into their own hands.

In the last 48 days 40 volunteers have donated more than 100 hours to the Commonwealth Challenge. As of this morning, 350 patriots of the Commonwealth have taken the Challenge to audit and retrofit their homes to save energy. They have taken the first step toward 100% clean power in Massachusetts within 10 years and have sent us here with a message.

Today, on this 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we the people of Massachusetts set forth a challenge to the Massachusetts State Legislature to re-power the Commonwealth with 100% clean electricity by 2020. This action is needed to stem the tide of climate change before its forces become too great. But it is also an action that will produce positive results.

By retrofitting their homes, 350 Massachusetts residents will collectively save about $100,000 per year on their energy bills, remove 120 tons per year of carbon pollution from the atmosphere, and create 2 full-time green careers for local workers. The Commonwealth Challenge represents only the beginning of what we can accomplish from a transition to clean power. We urge you, our elected officials, to help us re-power Massachusetts.”

There are so many people that have helped to make this campaign possible. First among them, are the 32 partners who have dedicated their time and resources to make this dream a reality.

It’s time to celebrate what we’ve achieved. Take a look at this video from our friends at Green For All, who helped organize the April 10th Green Jobs Rally and Block Walk.

About Josh

Josh Lynch works to bring people together for clean energy and green jobs. As Co-Founder of Energy Action Coalition, he was instrumental in building a diverse youth-led alliance that has become a force in U.S. politics. Serving as Campaign Manager for Green For All in 2008, he coordinated Green Jobs Now, the first national day of action for green collar jobs. In 2009 he led the Green Recovery For All Initiative, empowering low-income people and people of color to leverage stimulus dollars for green collar jobs and training. Josh graduated from the College of Wooster with a major in Philosophy. He now lives and works in Boston.

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