Showing posts from October, 2019

Grand Canyon Conservancy

I’ve been the Grand Canyon for the past day. What a remarkable place. I check out tomorrow so my visit is too short, but suffice to say that the Grand Canyon is a poster child for national parks conservation. Today, I made a donation to the Grand Canyon Conservancy .

The EPA's methane protections

Methane is 104 times more potent than carbon dioxide in a 20-year time frame. And the oil and gas industry leaks methane into the atmosphere without a care. Today, I wrote to the EPA to express my opposition to the EPA’s proposal to eliminate limits on methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.

Washington DC statehood

Washington, D.C. has more residents than Vermont and Wyoming. But it has no representatives in Congress. I signed a petition back in March asking for DC to be granted statehood. Today, I signed another petition asking for the same.

Kiva loan

Today, I made a new Kiva loan, using credits provided by the Pepsi Foundation. This loan went to Elizabeth Narciza , an in Ecuador, who needs supplies for her handicrafts.

More testimony for the International Code Council

Today, I attended a second all-day hearing for the International Code Council. They moved through a number of energy efficiency measures that will go out to vote by code officials next month as part of the International Energy Conservation Code. And I testified again on a few measures, advocating not only for climate considerations but also affordable housing.

Testimony for the International Code Council

Today, I attended an all-day hearing for the International Code Council. They moved through a number of energy efficiency measures that will go out to vote by code officials next month as part of the International Energy Conservation Code. And I testified on a few measures, advocating for climate to be an increased consideration in deliberations.

Strategy briefing for the International Energy Conservation Code

I arrived in Las Vegas this afternoon to attend the International Code Council meeting, specifically the hearings on the International Energy Conservation Code. Today, I attended a strategy briefing pulled together by the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition, to align our testimony advocating for energy efficient building codes over the next few days.

Somerville zoning overhaul

Today, I submitted comments for the latest round of Somerville’s zoning code overhaul. We have until November 1 to submit comments but I’ll be traveling soon, so I had to get them in now.

Scape development proposal

Today, I attended an informal public hearing for a major development in my neighborhood. The developer, Scape, presented their preliminary plans for a massive new building that would change Davis Square considerably. There are some troubling questions about displaced small businesses and who the market for the building really is. But the sustainability aspects of the building were well thought out.

City Council and sustainability

Today, I had a monthly breakfast meeting with our City Council president to talk about sustainability issues. We went through a list of action items we created a year ago and updated some new action items.

We the People amendment in the Senate

Back in May, I advocated for the introduction of the We the People amendment with my representative in the House, Ayanna Pressley. She co-sponsored the amendment within a few days. Today, I doubled down with a phone call to advocate for the amendment with my Senator, Ed Markey, who is considering whether he should introduce the amendment in the Senate. He should.

Movement Voter Project

Five states are seen as vital to the national 2020 presidential election: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. That’s why the Movement Voter Project is focusing on those states, and building the capacity of grassroots organizations in those five states. Today, I made a donation to the Movement Voter Project’s Big 5 Battleground Fund campaign .

Pollinators of Somerville walk

Today, I took my final Pollinators of Somerville walk, tracking bees and other pollinators on a small transect near my house. Despite a brisk Fall day, the bees were still out, searching for food!

Candidates Climate Forum summaries

Today, I helped to push out summaries for the Candidates Climate Forum we held on October 5. That included building a page on the Climate Coalition of Somerville’s website and pushing out information through digital channels.

PUMA follow-up

Today, I joined a few Somerville climate advocates in a follow-up meeting with PUMA. We met with them six months ago and they were kind enough to invite us for a follow-up, where we focused primarily on transportation and the Assembly Square area.

Somerville Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change

Today, I attended the monthly meeting of the Somerville Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change. We had some interesting discussions and updates and a bigger turnout from the public than we’ve had in recent months.

Climate Coalition of Somerville meeting

Today, I attended the monthly meeting of the Climate Coalition of Somerville. Smaller turnout than normal, and a richer discussion, as well. I also had the opportunity to sit in on a panel discussion on Commercial District Placemaking, held by the City of Somerville’s Economic Development office.

Candidates Climate Forum transcriptions redux

Today, I transcribed some more responses from the Candidates Climate Forum on October 5. We’re going to try to put our Summary Report out next week. This should wrap up the transcriptions.

Capital City

Today, I went to a book reading by Samuel Stein, the author of Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State . He has an interesting take on the problems of affordable housing in many urban environments. And he offers a basket of big solutions within our existing system, while at the same time advocating for a radical solution of public ownership. It was also interesting to see city councilors and council candidates from Boston, Cambridge and Somerville there, along with a state representative.

Candidates Climate Forum transcriptions

Today, I transcribed some responses from the Candidates Climate Forum on October 5. We’re going to try to put our Summary Report out next week, so there’s a push over the weekend to get all the material together.

Climate Reality Project Boston leadership call

Today, I had a call with the Climate Reality Project Boston chapter leadership team. We locked down a date for our November meeting and started planning it.

Better Future Project fundraiser

Today, I attended a fundraiser for the Better Future Project , which runs 350 Mass as well as Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW). The featured speaker was Naomi Klein, who is on a book tour for On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal .

Candidates Climate Forum summary

The Climate Coalition of Somerville’s Candidates Climate Forum was last Saturday, but there’s still more to do. We’ve promised to post an edited video of the event and also produce a summary report. Today, I spent time reviewing the rough cut edits (particularly double-checking the captions) and working on the summary report. I’ll probably spend a few more hours over the next week helping to pull this together.

Deevabits Green Energy Ltd

Today, I made a Kiva loan to Deevabits Green Energy Ltd. Deevabits is a Nairobi based company that aims to sell solar products to 12,000 households in rural Kenya, where a typical family makes less than $5 a day and lights their homes with kerosene. The loan is a bridge loan so Deevabits can buy inventory; it’s a little higher risk than other Kiva loans, but with a high potential impact.

Confirmation of Appointments and Personnel Matters

Today, I went before the Somerville City Council’s Confirmation of Appointments and Personnel Matters committee. I was nominated to serve on the city’s Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change so I had to have a hearing before the committee. The hearing went quite well; I knew the councilors present so they really didn’t have any questions for me.

Somerville Bicycle Safety

Somerville has the highest percentage of bicycle commuters on the East Coast and one of the highest in the nation. Still, more can be done to make bicycling safe across the city. Today, I signed a petition asking the City to commit to building more protected bike lanes specifically on Powder House Boulevard, and more generally whenever it does significant road work on a major thoroughfare.

Somerville Candidates Climate Forum

Today was a big day, when I helped to run the Somerville Candidates Climate Forum. We had 9 candidates for City Council in the room, as well as both Mayoral candidates. And we had a great turnout with 73 community members present. I even got to be master of ceremonies.

Candidates Climate Forum prep

Tomorrow is a big day with the Candidates Climate Forum that we’re hosting through the Climate Coalition of Somerville. Today, I did a lot of prep work, organizing materials to bring to the event and ironing out the run-of-show.

Conscious Capitalism event planning

Today, I caught up on planning a couple of potential events for Conscious Capitalism Boston. There’s a lot in the air right now, with a new strategy coming into force, hopefully, and a couple of opportunities appear to be firming up.

Resistat meeting

Today, I went to the City’s Resistat meeting. These are twice-yearly meetings during which the City presents data at the city and ward levels on different aspects of community life. And there’s usually time for another presentation, this one from the Mayor on his economic development efforts. The storm flooding discussion caught everyone’s attention.

Owning It!

Today, I went to an event cosponsored by Conscious Capitalism Boston with the Boston Area Sustainability Event. We were a cosponsor, but we didn’t have to do that much other than help to get the word out. Great topic, too: on workers cooperatives and other employee ownership structures. In fact, I had thought about putting together a similar panel six months, so this event was on point.