Showing posts from September, 2020

Tufts PILOT ordinance

The City of Somerville has been negotiating with Tufts University for some time now over payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT). Somerville residents are impacted by tax-exempt institutions in our communities that take advantage of city services without contributing revenues. Today, I signed a petition asking the City Council to hold a hearing to review and pass an ordinance governing PILOT.

We the People meeting

Today, I joined a call with my State Representative elect to introduce her to the We the People Massachusetts effort to push for a constitutional amendment for democracy reform. We didn’t really have to convince her, as she’s a staunch advocate of democracy reform. But it was valuable to get her up to date on what we’re working on.

Climate Reality support

Today, I helped a Climate Reality leader who is prepping her presentation for the 24 Hours of Reality on October 10-11.

Movement Voter Project

I’ve supported the Movement Voter Project in the past, because it has such a powerful theory of change: Fund local organizing not only to get out the vote among marginalized populations in battleground states, but also build the power of local organizers to gain influence in their communities and states. Today, I made another donation to the Movement Voter Project.

Labor-Climate Summit

We’ve been working for the better part of a year on the labor-climate summit, indeed a labor-climate-equity summit, that bring together disparate community groups to work on shared problems. Today, I attended the summit, joining a working group on developing shovel-ready projects. It actually happened, and despite its virtual nature, went off very smoothly.

Labor-Climate Summit final prep

Tomorrow, the Somerville Labor-Climate Summit is finally happening. Today, I helped to button up some final details with the planning team.

Building Electrification Accelerator #4

Today, I participated in the fourth workshop for the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Building Electrification Accelerator.

Climate Reality presentation bootcamp follow-up

Today, I followed up last night’s presentation bootcamp by sending around presentation slides and other information that was provided by participants.

Charles River Watershed Association board meeting and Climate Reality Project presentation bootcamp

Today, I hosted a presentation bootcamp for the Climate Reality Project Boston Metro chapter. Today, I also attended a Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) board meeting. Actually, the two overlapped, so I was pretty late for the CRWA board meeting.

MCAN board meeting

Today, I attended a board meeting for the Massachusetts Climate Action Network.

Board meeting prep

I have two board meetings this week, for MCAN and the Charles River Watershed Association. Today, I did some prep work for those meetings, doing a lot of reading.

The Wide Awakes

The Wide Awakes is a network of artists and cultural workers driven to activism on urgent social and political issues. Like, you know, the election. They’re “organizing communities, sharing knowledge, building art, agitating for change, and getting out the vote.” Today, I made a donation to the Wide Awakes on Kickstarter .


Today, I made a donation to Climable , who hosted last night’s screening of The Response.

The Response

Today, I watched a screening of The Response , a short film about the success of mutual aid societies after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. After that, a panel pulled together by Climable talked about how distributed power grids are emerging, on a small scale, out of those same efforts. Today, I also joined a call for the We the People Massachusetts team, still pushing for democracy reform.

Climate Reality bootcamp prep

Today, I setup a few outreach emails for next weeks presentation bootcamp, to be run by the Climate Reality Project Boston Metro chapter.

Setting up a meeting with our state rep

Today, I setup a meeting with (in a couple of weeks) my new state rep to talk about our We the People Massachusetts work. She’ll be an advocate, so it’s mostly just to introduce ourselves and thank her for support.

Climate Coalition of Somerville monthly meeting

Today, I joined the monthly call of the Climate Coalition of Somerville. One of our state representatives joined us and we had a great chat about what he’s focusing on in the Statehouse.

Climate Reality chapter leaders call

Today, I joined the monthly chapter leaders call for the Climate Reality Project, to debrief the two global virtual trainings and prepare for the upcoming Countdown event.

Climate support group

Today, I joined with a monthly support group of climate activists. It’s a great group to meet with, with no expectations and no agenda.

Climate Reality national

Today, I had my monthly call with the Climate Reality Project national, to talk about how the Boston Metro chapter is shaping up.

Climate Coalition of Somerville digital presence

Today, I did a little work polishing off some digital assets for the Climate Coalition of Somerville’s online presence, for social and its website. Just a few minor things, actually. I have a lot more to do!

Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change

Today, I chaired the monthly meeting of Somerville’s Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change. We had a packed agenda and debriefed our past few meetings, before getting into how we might move forward.

Climate Reality event setup

Today, I worked on setting a Climate Reality meeting in September, our virtual presentation bootcamp. Just some blocking and tackling on Eventbrite and Mailchimp.

Soil health restoration

Today, I made a kiva loan to a soil health restoration business in Colorado. Regenerative food-waste and gardening practices will help us sequester more carbon (thus mitigate climate change) and make nutrient dense food more accessible for all. Glad to support businesses that are moving this forward.

MCAN development plan

Today, I spent some today reviewing a proposed development plan for the Massachusetts Climate Action Network and caught up on a few other MCAN board issues.

Somerville Cares Fund

I read an update this morning on the Somerville Cares Fund , the pandemic relief fund to help the most vulnerable in the city. I donated to the fund back in April. Spoiler alert: “In brief, ongoing need remains extremely high.” Today, I made another donation to the fund.

Climate Reality chapter progress

Today, I had a leadership team call with the Boston Metro Chapter of the Climate Reality Project. And I also checked in with one of the global training mentees, who would like to get involved. We’re excited to be getting some progress in building a more engaged team.

Climate Reality mentees

Today, I caught up with a couple of Climate Reality Project mentees, from the recent global training. They’re an excited group and I’m going to enjoy working with them.

Charles River Watershed Association updates

Today, I had three calls for the Charles River Watershed Association . The first was to meet a prospective board member; the second a check-in with our Executive Director; the third a meeting of the Governance and Nominating Committee.

Biomass is not a climate friendly energy source

The Massachusetts legislature is finalizing climate legislation that includes a strange proposal. As this petition puts it: The bill would also classify commercial wood burning biomass incinerators as “non emitting sources” of energy and create new incentives for municipally-owned electric companies to purchase their power. And there is only one incinerator like this proposed in the state – right in the center of Springfield – a city that has been named the asthma capital of the United States twice by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It’s ludicrous to call biomass incineration a non-emitting source as burning wood has been show to be worse for the climate than natural gas. And it’s incredibly inequitable, of course, because of the local impacts of emissions. Today, I signed that petition.