I am so pleased and proud to receive the endorsement of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club.
I was endorsed by the Club based on my record of climate activism and my positions on climate, environmental and energy issues. I am the only candidate in District 5 to receive their endorsement, and am one of just four among a field of 26 candidates townwide.
Over the last few years, I worked with the organizations “Mothers Out Front” and “Climate Action Now” on Amherst’s Zero Energy Town Buildings Bylaw. This is the first bylaw in Massachusetts to require new municipal buildings to include sufficient renewable energy systems to fulfill annual energy needs. On the Amherst Town Council, I hope to help usher in Amherst’s first municipal buildings designed to meet zero energy standards. Our new bylaw is already becoming a model for other municipalities in Massachusetts, and could have influence nationally.
I am excited that Amherst will be creating a Sustainability Committee under the new Town Council and want to contribute to setting a strong mission for it. I will strongly support a zero waste plan for Amherst, to include increased use of composting by residences, businesses and town offices.
I will also suggest that the Amherst Town Council explore ways to encourage and support residential use of electric vehicles, and consider purchasing them for municipal use when possible.
Regionally, I am working with an inter-municipal task force on an innovative plan for Amherst, Pelham and Northampton called Community Choice Energy Plus. The goal is to dramatically reduce regional greenhouse gases through bulk purchasing of electricity, expanded renewable sources, and targeted energy efficiency services. I will be able to inform and guide the Town Council through the planning process for this exciting project.
I will work to see more renewable energy generated in Amherst, on rooftops, in parking lots, and on brownfields, so we can simultaneously preserve and protect our beautiful and necessary agricultural and forested areas. It is my plan to call for setting benchmarks for reaching our 100% renewable energy goal.
The Massachusetts Sierra Club is one of the leading voices urging the state legislature to take bold action on climate change. Working closely with the Mass Power Forward Coalition, it has led the charge to shift away from dirty fossil fuels, toward a clean-energy economy.
I am deeply grateful to the Sierra Club for its support, and look forward to serving on the Town Council, where I will help to transition Amherst to a clean energy future.