I have to say, this made me smile: Two young MIT grads put a couple of advisory questions on the ballot in Winthrop for Speaker Bob DeLeo’s notice. One had to do with his self-appointment as Speaker-for-Life, and the other called for him to lead on climate and energy.
According to results posted on the town’s website Tuesday night, the majority of voters in his hometown of Winthrop and the portion of Revere he represents voted in favor of a pair of nonbinding questions intended to specifically needle DeLeo, who has represented the seaside communities as a state representative since 1991.
… The other ballot question intended to tweak DeLeo asked voters whether the district’s state representative should take action on global warming. Specifically, it asks whether the legislator should “be instructed to vote in favor of the global warming solutions implementation act which would require the state to create a clean energy roadmap for meeting 2050 emissions limits” set by a 2008 piece of state legislation.
The majority of Winthrop voters cast their ballots in favor of that nonbinding measure, with 61 percent voting yes, just under 25 percent voting no, and 13 percent leaving the question blank.
This should not be surprising! As I’ve noted, Winthrop is a peninsula sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean. Sea level rise and extreme weather ought to be weighing heavily on residents’ minds. And yet DeLeo dismantled the Senate’s strong energy legislation this past term. More action probably needs to be taken to remind voters to hold DeLeo’s feet to the fire. What’s next – a postcard campaign? Is there an internal challenger? In any event, thanks and congratulations to Jonathan Mascoop and Max Dunitz for their leadership on this. Maybe someday DeLeo will get the message.
On the national level, Sunrise Movement climate activists sat in at Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi’s office in the Capitol to demand action on climate change that is commensurate to the threat — a Green New Deal. (Remember that we have about 12 years to slash emissions by 45 percent; and we must be 100% net zero by 2050, according to the IPCC). The Green New Deal means this:
(1) 100% of national power generation from renewable sources;
(2) Building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;
(3) Upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;
(4) Decarbonizing the manufacturing, agricultural and other industries;
(5) Decarbonizing, repairing and improving transportation and other infrastructure;
(6) Funding massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases;
(7) Making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the United States, with the aim of becoming the undisputed international leader in helping other countries transition to completely carbon neutral economies and bringing about a global Green New Deal.
US Rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dropped by to show support, and give structure to the legislative “ask”. And it was a positive exchange, a healthy tension. (This is not surprising to me.) And they are reaching out to our new star from Massachusetts as well:
Hey @AyannaPressley! We just sat in at @NancyPelosi‘s office with @Ocasio2018 to demand @HouseDemocrats champion a #GreenNewDeal. Will you support @Ocasio2018‘s resolution to form a Select Committee for a #GreenNewDeal? Full details at: https://t.co/HRCFQhSULd. https://t.co/dlzjblbgdN
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) November 13, 2018
No word from Pressley yet, as far as I know. But this has got to be an absolute slam-dunk for her. She’s busy, but … this is important.
… this represents perhaps the first time in US history that a Democrat has proposed a plan for addressing climate change that actually scales to the problem and has some chance of influencing the party’s agenda.
The Green New Deal needs to happen. We could kick-start it right here in Massachusetts, and stand poised to reap some of the benefits when our clean energy industry is already established. But we’re going to need some creativity and energy from our own constituents. Thanks to our young MIT grads, the Sunrise Movement and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for advancing the ball.