WORKING TO MAKE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE LAW IN MASS.
This year marked the first legislative session in which all of Community Action Works Campaigns’ protests and actions shifted online, and we helped move forward one of our major priorities of this two-year session: making environmental justice law.
Community leaders in the Mass Power Forward coalition we coordinate are no strangers to meeting on conference calls—that’s how we’ve met every week for the past five years to discuss updates and strategy with community leaders from across the state.
As COVID-19 keeps us socially distant and the waves of protests across the country call more people to action, we’ve seen new community leaders joining our weekly meetings and signing up to do even more. We held virtual call-in days to support our climate champions in office and boost the efforts of local campaigns, including joining the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station to demand a stop to construction on the dangerous compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts, during a global pandemic.
This year, we worked to make sure environmental justice and clean, renewable energy were at the top of the legislature’s agenda. After years of educating legislators about why we need a law on environmental justice to stop polluters from loading pollution into Black, Indigenous and communities of color and poor communities, we finally built enough support to get environmental justice in the bill. Aside from this major victory, the bill only includes a modest increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which dictates how much renewable energy our state uses, and we know much is still left to be done.
This bill passed the House but still has to be adopted by the Senate in order to become law.
Community Action Works Campaigns is proud to stand with community leaders across the state who believe a clean, just and renewable energy future is possible.