Phyllis Theermann

We are very proud that Sustainable Wellesley’s Leadership Team member Lise Olney was elected to the Wellesley Board of Selectmen on March 5th. After eight years on the leadership team of Sustainable Wellesley, Olney will be stepping down to focus on her new role in town government. She will no longer have a voting position on the Sustainable Wellesley team but plans to remain involved in our activities.

Lise joined the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team in 2011, after helping organize a Sustainability Expo and Bike Tour. She went on to work on many projects, advocating for renewable energy, organizing volunteers to work on the Wellesley plastic bag ban, tagging the  200+ gas leaks around town, and much more.

Lise says, “For me, the best part of working on the Sustainable Wellesley team was getting to know so many neighbors who are committed to making changes and helping to save our planet.”

The Sustainable Wellesley community is grateful for all of Lise’s contributions and thrilled to have someone committed to environmental stewardship on the Board of Selectmen. Her experience, shared decision-making style and thoughtfulness will strengthen our community on all fronts.

Sustainable Wellesley is a group of volunteers working to make a difference in our community. Click here for a list of the ways you can join us – one time, weekly, and monthly opportunities are listed, as well as ones that relate to your expertise, hobby, and passion. We need you to volunteer to make all of our work possible. Together we can make a difference.


Last week, Lise Olney and Raina McManus represented Sustainable Wellesley at a State House rally with more than 300 advocates who combined forces to advocate for clean energy and fair treatment for immigrants. The rally called for ambitious legislation on renewable energy and for provisions to safeguard immigrants in Massachusetts.

In recent weeks, the House and Senate have passed very different energy-related bills and a House and Senate conference committee is now working to come up with a compromise before the clock runs out on July 31.

We can still make a difference by calling Wellesley’s State Rep. Alice Peisch to thank her for her support for raising the increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 3% per year, and to ask her to urge her colleagues on the conference committee to include this critical provision in the bill along with an equitable solar policy. To call Rep. Peisch’s office, dial 617-722-2070. A suggested script from 350 Mass is available here.

The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is the state requirement that specifies the percentage of electricity that utility companies must obtain from qualified renewable energy sources. Currently, the RPS is at 13% and increases at only 1% each year. The Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously and on a bipartisan basis to raise the annual RPS increase to 3% per year, while the House voted to raise the annual increase to only 2% starting in 2019, and then to reduce it back to 1% in 2029. This is simply not enough to achieve our state-wide goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Click here for more on this from Mass Sierra Club’s Emily Norton.)

Please make your call today!