With so many decisions that tie into climate action, there is no time better than NOW to take part in Wellesley town government as a Town Meeting member. These position have a big impact, with not a lot of time commitment.
There are vacant Town Meeting seats in Precincts C, D, and E. The Town is seeking individuals from those precincts to fill these open positions.
Special Elections for these positions will take place the week of October 4, 2021.
New Town Meeting members will participate in the Special Town Meeting that starts on October 25, 2021.
Residents may nominate themselves or have someone else nominate them.
Nominations for Precinct C are due on September 30 at 5:00 p.m. Nominations for Precincts D and E are due on September 28 at 5:00 p.m.
Nominees MUST be registered voters in the specific precinct they want to represent. Email us at email@example.com with any questions.
Press Release from:
Clean Water Action, Mass CLU and Mass Climate Action Network
State’s energy policies must now weigh equity, climate concerns and community safety alongside cost and energy needs
Massachusetts' breakthrough climate law takes legal effect today, 90 days after it was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker. Most notably, effective today, the scope and mission of one state agency, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), has changed dramatically. The DPU can no longer make decisions strictly based on the criteria of system reliability and affordability, instead it must factor in the effects of our energy system on residents health and safety and the climate, as well as cumulative impacts for environmental justice communities.
The bill rode a rollercoaster on the way to passage in late 2020 and early 2021. Governor Charlie Baker vetoed a version of the legislation that came to his desk days before the end of the 2019-2020 legislative session. When it reached his desk again in January, Governor Baker sent watered down amendments back to the legislature. House and Senate leaders responded to pressure from their constituents and overwhelmingly rejected efforts to weaken key parts of the legislation. The Governor finally capitulated and signed the bill into law in March 2021.
The Department of Public Utilities must align its policymaking with an ambitious new mission. Under the Next Generation Roadmap, the DPU must give equal weight to six factors as it decides electric power and natural gas rates, reviews contracts with electric and gas companies, and makes policy. System reliability and affordability, the DPU's two long standing priorities, will remain crucial, but starting today the DPU must also consider four new criteria -- safety, system security (from both cyberattacks and physical sabotage), equity, and reductions in climate pollution (GHG).
“This bill takes an important step by putting equity and climate explicitly in the mission of our utility oversight. It's been long overdue.” said Lee Matsueda of Community Labor United, “Now our energy policy will have more clear guidance to better serve Environmental Justice communities, and confront disproportionate impact and unequal treatment.”
Also starting today is the requirement that all parties - the state agencies, the utilities, the program administrators - involved in running Mass Save must factor the “social value of greenhouse gas emission reductions” into the design, evaluation, and approval of program service. Essentially, until now, the benefits of not burning dirty fuel for health and climate justice have been missing from the cost-benefit analysis.
“With the social value and benefits of equitable energy efficiency being finally added to the equation, we will see deeper investments in these critical programs.” said Andrea Nyamekye of Neighbor to Neighbor, “Cleaner air, lower heating and cooling bills, and lower asthma rates in historically impacted communities.”
This new requirement begins little more than a month after the Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee shared a Draft 2022-2024 Energy Efficiency Plan. During the last public comment session, advocates highlighted another new statutory requirement, effective today, to align the plan’s goals and benchmarks with the new emissions targets that will be established on July 15 by the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
The Green Justice Coalition has worked for years to increase access to energy efficiency programs in language isolated and low-income communities. “Residents in our state are struggling with high utility bills and economic hardship after COVID-19; with the rising temperatures every year, we cannot let our communities suffer any longer. We call on the Baker Administration to address the barriers that are preventing participation by members of EJ communities and reject any 3-year plan that doesn’t center the needs of these communities.” said Paulina Casasola, Climate Justice Organizer for Clean Water Action.
“Governor Baker had succumbed to the interests of real estate lobby groups and attempted to water down key provisions in the bill, targeting the net zero stretch provisions,” Sarah Dooling of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network said. “But advocates got this bill over the finish line by demanding buildings be part of the climate solution, and legislators listened. Building code is now valued as a core part of the climate movement. The bill also adds three new seats to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards -- with expertise in commercial and residential building energy efficiency, and advanced building technology. The BBRS is now in a position to work effectively with the Department of Energy Resources on developing a true net zero stretch code guided by community input.”
Join Mother's Out Front's second Climate Action Call to take quick and effective action in just 45 minutes! This month, we’ll be advocating for legislation to make clean heat, clean air, and healthy soils a reality across the Commonwealth.
This event is designed for everyone - from curious newcomers to long-time volunteers. We’ll give you everything you need to take action right on the call. No experience necessary to help move forward legislation designed to protect all Massachusetts communities from environmental pollution and climate change.
An energy efficient building code that still allows the combustion of fossil fuels is not helping Massachusetts achieve its goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Because of the state’s Net Zero goals outlined in Gov. Baker’s Clean Energy Climate Plan, new homes will have to either be built to Net Zero now or be retrofitted later. It is less expensive to both the state and owners to build Net Zero buildings now than to retrofit buildings down the line. But cities and towns are prohibited from exceeding the state’s “stretch” code (a building code that requires higher energy efficiency standards for new buildings than the base code) even while many developers are already building to Net Zero standards at little to no a to no additional cost (ReadyforNetZero_03.01.21.pdf).
That’s why Massachusetts needs a new “Net Zero” stretch code that includes the use of renewable energy instead of gas or oil.
To keep the pressure up to guarantee that the Net Zero stretch code developed by the Department of Energy Resources is truly Net Zero, please consider:
1) Writing to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (Dan.P.Walsh@mass.gov) to let them know that a true Net Zero stretch code means building safe and healthy housing, affordable to heat and cool, and effective in mitigating climate change. A true Net Zero stretch code transforms our buildings from a major source of emissions to being part of the climate solution.
2) Share the news on your favorite social media and include any and all of the following hashtags: #NetZeroForAll, #NetZeroNow, #ProtectOurAir, #ElectrifyEverything, #AllElectric, #PassOnGas, #GasFreeHomes, #CleanEnergy, #AirPollution·
Harvard Study estimates burning fossil fuels for buildings costs Massachusetts $8.4 billion in annual health impacts
An interactive map shows health impact of building emissions by state
For those doing something different next week for the school April break, take a minute this week to:
1) Write/call your Town Meeting Member letting them know that you support the Town's updated greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals. These goals appear in Article 24, Motion 1 and call for reductions in town-wide GHG emissions of 50% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2030, 75% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2040, and net zero town-wide GHG emissions by 2050. These science-based goals follow State policy, are in line with The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, support Wellesley’s Unified Plan, and echo similar climate actions taken by an increasing number of Wellesley’s peer communities across the Commonwealth.
2) Enjoy Sierra Club's free plant-based cooking classes! You know that going meatless is good for the environment and for your health. The production of meat and dairy generates a lot more greenhouse gases than the production of comparable amounts of plant-based proteins. Check out two upcoming online cooking classes from the Sierra Club for inspiration and helpful tips.
Sunday, April 18, 6-7pm
Plant-based Cooking Demonstration: Learn how to make healthy plant-based food with the Plant-based Planet Team! We’ll demonstrate how to make various plant-based dishes at home. Feel free to ask us questions! Register in advance here.
Tuesday, April 20, 6:30-7:30pm
Our Sustainable Kitchen Cooking Class, Second Episode: Professional vegan chef Diana Goldman will teach you virtually how to prepare delicious plant-based food. Register in advance here.
3) Enjoy the week!
Last week after the Massachusetts Legislature put its climate bill on the Governor’s desk for the second time, Governor Baker signed it into law. This sweeping and historic statute is the first piece of climate legislation passed in Massachusetts in over a decade, creating the foundation for bold and robust statewide climate policy for years to come.
Specifically, the Roadmap Bill strengthens Massachusetts’s emissions reduction targets to establish a 50% reduction by 2030, a 75% reduction by 2040 and a goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Having targets like these will hold the Commonwealth accountable to reduce emissions in our energy, transportation and building sectors.
To make these goals, the act stipulates the development of a Net Zero Energy stretch building code, which it empowers communities to adopt by 2022. It also mandates energy efficiency standards for appliances by 2025, and authorizes another 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power. It also provides protections for Environmental Justice communities.
What does this mean for Wellesley?
Later this month, Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) will be updating the Town’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals and bringing them to the Annual Town Meeting (ATM) 2021. These goals, contained in Article 24, call for reductions in town-wide GHG emissions of 50% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2030, 75% below Wellesley’s 2007 baseline by 2040, and net zero town-wide GHG emissions by 2050.
These science-based goals follow State policy, are in line with The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, support Wellesley’s Unified Plan, and echo similar climate actions taken by an increasing number of Wellesley’s peer communities across the Commonwealth. Residents are encouraged to contact their Town Meeting Members letting them know they support these emissions reductions goals for our community.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU!
There are six positions on the 15 member Advisory Committee that will become open at the end of the current fiscal year that Town Moderator Mark Kaplan will be filling to take effect as of July 1, 2021. Five of the openings are for three year terms and one is for a two year term.
All Wellesley (residents) (town meeting members) who are interested in being considered for one of these vacancies should contact Mark Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than April 23, 2021.
Please include a current resume if you have one as well as a brief description of your background including (1) any prior involvement in either town government or the community in general; (2) any knowledge, expertise or experience that you have that you feel may be relevant for service on the Advisory Committee; and (3) the reasons that you are interested in being considered for appointment to the Advisory Committee.
PRECINCT F TOWN MEETING MEMBER
A special election for Precinct F will take place on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7 p.m. to fill a Town Meeting Member vacancy.
Section 8A, Chapter 202 of the Acts of 1932 specifies that in the event of a vacancy in the full number of Town Meeting Members, the Town Clerk shall call a special meeting of the Town Meeting Members from the affected precinct to elect a new member until the next annual election.
The special election candidates shall be from the registered voters of the precinct. A quorum for this special meeting is a majority of Precinct F Town Meeting Members.
The special election Town Meeting Member will serve until the next annual election.
Town Meeting Members, or others, should nominate candidates for this position on or before Tuesday April 6, 2021. Nominations should include the candidate name, address and email address if available, and should be submitted in writing or by email.
The nominee’s permission should be secured in advance. Any resident may propose nominations and candidates may propose themselves.
Please submit nominations by email to email@example.com or by phone at 781-431-1019 ext. 2252 no later than April 6.
The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has rescheduled two public listening webinars on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 (2030 CECP). Below are the dates and registration information. Please register in advance for the webinar you plan to attend. Please also indicate that you would like to make a public statement during the listening session. We will consider the speakers on a first-come-first-speak basis as much as we can.
The two webinars will follow the same format and stakeholders are invited to attend either one. First, EEA will give a presentation and overview of the Interim 2030 CECP, after which attendees will be invited to provide oral public comment (up to 3 minutes). These comments will be recorded and considered with the other public comments on the Interim 2030 CECP.
If you have a specific question about the CECP, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours in advance of the webinar you will be attending, and the team will try to address your question during the presentation portion. During the listening webinars, EEA will be in “listening mode” and will not be taking live questions.
Listening Webinars on the 2030 CECP
We will continue to take public comments on the Interim 2030 CECP until 5:00pm on March 22, 2021. Details are at www.mass.gov/2030CECP.
Please send any questions on this process to email@example.com.
Style. Fashion. Inspiration. All in a conscientious way.
Join the Zoom chat this Thursday, March 4th, at 7. Learn more about who is really paying the price for fast fashion. We will be looking at not only the sustainable factors but the ethical and societal as well. After offering some solutions, we will be opening it up to questions and answers.
To Attend: Please fill out this form and submit your questions or comments.
Be part of Mass Power Forward's Virtual Lobby Day on Thursday March 4th from 3pm-6pm to advocate for a suite of Environmental Justice legislative priorities, 100% Renewable Energy, and the Mass Renews Build Jobs and Justice Act.
DEADLINE TO RSVP is March 1st at 12pm
It’s time to build some momentum behind our environmental justice and climate action legislative priorities. Sign up today here or on Facebook and share with friends, family, colleagues in Mass.
WHY?: New state-wide laws are one of many critical actions we must take to transform our state for climate and environmental justice.
WHAT?: For the new legislative session, Mass Power Forward will be advocating for 3 main groups of bills.
1. First, we are supporting the Environmental Justice Table’s priorities. We will be working to reform the Energy Facility Siting Board, Improve Air Quality for pollution hot spot communities, restore the ability to sue the government for unequal impact and clarify the definitions of environmental justice
2. Second, we are supporting the MA Renews Alliance work to rapidly retrofit homes to be affordable, efficient, electric and climate healing- with priority to environmental justice neighborhoods.
3. Third, we expect to be continuing our work from last session to get Massachusetts to 100% renewable energy.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Meetings Thursday, March 4th between 3 and 6pm The Mass Power Forward Planning team is setting up Zoom meetings with State Legislators.
Optional Educational Webinars the week before
Lobby Day Trainings
Option 1: Monday March 1st 1pm - 2:30pm
Option 2: Tuesday March 2nd 6pm -7:30pm
Participants will have an opportunity to meet ahead of time and organize their meetings. The lobby day guide and meeting logistics/instructions will be provided.