Showing posts from April, 2020

Zero energy stretch code webinar

Today, I joined a webinar hosted by the Massachusetts Climate Action Network , to learn more about the “zero energy” stretch code that Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships is going to submit to the state’s Board of Building Regulations and Standards soon.

Covering climate

Today, I joined a webinar hosted by the Environmental League of Massachusetts about covering climate. The featured speaker was David Abel, whose beat with the Boston Globe is the environment.

Charles River Watershed Association board meeting

Today, I joined my first meeting as a board member of the Charles River Watershed Association . I’m still getting to know other board members and getting a feel for the group dynamic since I haven’t engaged that much with the full board to date.

MCAN interviews

Today, I took part in another interview for a candidate for the MCAN Executive Director position. We’ve got good candidates so it’ll be a tough decision.

MAMAS neighborhood pod

I recently connected with the Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville (MAMAS) group. Today, the new captain of our neighborhood pod reached and I connected with him. He’ll hopefully connect with a core group of neighbors so we can stay in touch and support one another. I also made a donation to MAMAS, to go toward a community member in need.

Somerville Cares COVID-19 Fund

Today, I made a donation to the Somerville Cares COVID-19 Fund . The fund will provide emergency funding to Somerville residents and Somerville workers, regardless of immigration status, to help cover basic needs including, but not limited to, food, medications, rent, utilities, childcare, and other basic necessities. It’s hosted by the United Way and administered by the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS).

Climate Reality Boston leadership team

Today, I had another call with a trained Climate Reality leader who wants to join the Boston Metro chapter’s leadership team. I’m looking forward to expanding the team and bringing in new voices.

Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change

Today, I chaired the Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change’s monthly meeting. We skipped March because of the coronavirus pandemic, so it was good to reconnect with fellow commissioners and see what we can accomplish with social distancing in effect.

Charles River Watershed Association governance committee

Today, I joined the governance committee meeting for the Charles River Watershed Association, another new board that I’ve joined this spring.

Post Industrial

I supported journalism start-up Postindustrial last year. The Pittsburgh-based organization tells important stories from the Rust Belt and Appalachia. Now, they need to adjust, to keep afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, and also tell new stories of challenges, hope and resilience across that region. Today, I supported them again on Kickstarter .

Somerville Stands Together meeting

Today, I joined a video call with Somerville Stands Together , as a representative of the Climate Coalition of Somerville. SST is a coalition that focuses on affordable housing and workers’ rights in the city of Somerville.

Charles River Watershed Association

Today, I made a donation to the Charles River Watershed Association. I joined their board of directors a few weeks ago, and I’m excited to contribute to a vital organization protecting the Charles River and making the region more resilient to climate change.

Climate-labor summit

Today, I joined a call with a planning team for the Somerville climate-labor summit. The effort has gone through fits and starts, with the coronavirus throwing off our first summit. We’ve had to regroup and try to figure out how to move forward online.

Climate Reality upcoming meeting

Today, I took care of some housekeeping details for the Climate Reality Project. Notably, we have an upcoming meeting on Monday with a special guest speaker, so I set up one more email to market the event, as well as an email to go out to registrants. I also took care of some administrative paperwork for the Boston Metro chapter.

MCAN ED search

Today, I joined an interview with a candidate for the Executive Director position at MCAN. The coronavirus has added some uncertainty to the process but we’re moving forward anyway.

Asian Community Emergency Relief Fund

Today, I made a donation to the Asian Community Emergency Relief Fund . The Asian-American community in Greater Boston is hard hit by the coronavirus. Many members are immigrants in the shuttered food, hospitality and child care sectors. Language barriers and immigration status constrain access to public benefits. And anti-Asian sentiment is on the rise sharply.

MCAN governance call

Today, I joined a call with the MCAN board to go over governance and nominating. We specifically discussed how best to go forward with our executive director search.

Climate Coalition of Somerville

Today, I joined the monthly meeting of the Climate Coalition of Somerville. Remotely, of course. And despite the fact that there’s not that much going on the city, due to the coronavirus shutdown, we still had a lot of useful updates to share with one another.

Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville (MAMAS)

Today, I joined the newsletter for the Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville (MAMAS) group. This is a very sophisticated group of community members who have organized to provide assistance to people in need across Medford and Somerville. Frankly, I would have joined long ago, but my new job has me too busy to put a lot of daytime hours into this. And now they’ve grown so sophisticated, that’s hard to follow how to get involved. Hopefully, the newsletter will simplify matters for me, because I need to help in some way.

Grassroots for Main Streets

It’s clear that the economic shutdown associated with coronavirus will hit small businesses hardest. Most have less than 30-days of cash reserve and the stay-at-home advisory will last longer than that. Some area organizations got together to quickly publish a regional impact study that represents the combined efforts of hundreds of small business organizations, advocacy groups, and small business owners. The study includes core principles for small business relief and recommended relief measures. Today, I signed a petition pushing for the relief measures to be implemented by the state, including requiring insurance companies to honor business interruption claims, waiving meals and sales taxes for Q1 2020 through Q1 2021, and adopting emergency rent rebate tax credit program.

Food delivery for SNAP/EBT recipients

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some households have shifted to buying groceries online. However, people in need are still forced to go to the grocery store, because the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) only allows you to purchase groceries in person. Having groceries delivered is crucial for the health of many SNAP recipients who are older or have health issues. The USDA has a pilot program in five states that allows recipients of SNAP to get groceries online. Today, I signed a petition to add Massachusetts to the states that allow SNAP recipients to order groceries online to protect our most vulnerable neighbors.

Least Developed Countries fund bill

Today, I attended our monthly call to discuss strategies for the Least Developed Countries fund bill. With the State House virtually shut down due to coronavirus, there’s not a lot to do. But it was worth connecting on a number of possible ideas.

Bystander intervention training

Today, I attended a virtual bystander intervention training, co-hosted by Asian-Americans Advancing Justice . The context is the rising number of hate crimes against Asians in America, associated with the spread of coronavirus fears. I’ve been meaning to attend one for a long time, so this was a great opportunity and I learned a lot about intervention strategies.

Food Security and Climate Change

Today, I joined a webinar on “Food Security and Climate Change,” hosted by CREW ( Communities Responding to Extreme Weather ). It’s critical to consider how food security is intertwined with climate resilience, as climate change impacts our food system and communities.

MCAN board meeting

Today, I joined a board meeting with the Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) . We’re in the process of hiring an executive director, as well as launch some fundraising, so there’s a lot to do.

Tufts research on energy efficiency in affordable housing

Today, I was interviewed by a Master’s student at Tufts University. She’s working on a project with Somerville Community Corporation , our local community development corporation, to explore how rental properties can be made more energy efficient across the city. I hope she finds a solution.

Energy efficient housing in Somerville

Today, I had a catch-up call with a local advocate whom I’ve been working with on trying to better understand how housing can be made more energy efficient in Somerville. We touched base on what we’ve learned to date and set a plan for next steps.

Building advocates check-in

Today, I joined a check-in call with fellow state-wide advocates of better buildings. Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) continues to drive forward and set a plan, while the coronavirus shutdown continues.

MCAN donation

Today, I made a donation to the Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) . I’ve joined the board and while there’s an obligation to give, I’m also happy to do it, because it’s such a great organization.

MCAN Fundraising Planning Zoom Session

Today, I joined a call with the MCAN board to talk about upcoming fundraising plans. Happy to be joining this great board with a fun group dynamic and an important mission.