Support Climate Activism in Boston Neighborhoods in 2014!

December 22, 2013

Ring in the New Year with a pledge for climate justice! 2014 brings a new Mayor to Boston for the first time in 20 years, and BostonCAN is in the perfect place to make sure that Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh implements the strong climate change action ideas he and other candidates promoted during the campaign.

Please join us in this important work with your donation and, if possible, with your time!

While climate change news grows ever scarier, BostonCAN remains dedicated to fighting paralysis by engaging our network on multiple fronts: working both in the neighborhoods and citywide, on mitigation as well as adaptation, and by connecting Boston residents to statewide and national campaigns. There’s no other group like us, and your support is crucial to preventing climate change from turning our neighborhoods into separate islands of the vulnerable and the protected.

In 2013, BostonCAN convened a new coalition of six Boston neighborhoods making climate change a key issue in the city’s hotly contested mayoral race, helped win passage of a precedent-setting City energy reporting ordinance, joined a new campaign to fix leaky gas pipelines, and organized hands-on events like the De-Paving Party pictured here.JP_Depaving_best crop for web

Amazingly, we accomplished all this with part-time staff whom we had to lay off in mid-year when our funding ran out. Committed volunteers made our efforts in 2013 a success and they will keep working tirelessly next year, but we can accomplish much more in 2014 if we have enough financial support to hire a new coordinator.

Please donate generously to BostonCAN. We will put your dollars to work for what money can’t buy: climate-resilient neighborhoods and a regional ecosystem that can sustain our families now and for future generations.

You can make a donation today through our tax-deductible on-line option (just choose Boston Climate Action Network from the program designation menu on this Massachusetts Climate Action Network site) or send a check to BostonCAN, PO Box 300984, Boston, MA 02130.

Thanks so much for your generosity and dedication.
BostonCAN logo


Viki Bok
Loie Hayes
Judy Kolligian
Ninya Loeppky
Josh Lynch
Mike Prokosch
Ray Soohoo
Board members

PS: To ensure a sustainable campaign for climate justice in Boston, we are aiming to raise $5,000 by January 15th. A gift of even $30 would cover the cost of a hall for a movie night, $100 would support the design, translation, and printing of handouts for our summer fair tabling, while $500 would underwrite almost a whole week of our lean organizing machine.

PPS: Click here for more photos of BostonCAN events.

Join us for a Gas Leak Safari!

November 9, 2013


There are more than 3,300 natural gas leaks in the City of Boston, where miles of old corroded cast-iron pipes are badly in need of replacement with newer pipe material. The leaked natural gas is expensive for ratepayers who bear the costs. The methane in the gas is also a more potent greenhouse warming gas than CO2, meaning that the leaks represent a significant part of our collective carbon footprint. Natural gas leaks also harms trees and plantings, which has been documented along the Boston’s famed Arborway.

At 1pm, Sunday, Nov. 17, we will gather for a short briefing on the issue, and then depart to bike and caravan through Jamaica Plain, led by Boston University scientists, a professional detection team, and neighborhood leaders from Boston Climate Action Network and Clean Water Action. Please bring a bike or car, or plan to join a carpool. We will return to the Brewery by 3pm.

Who:  Concerned residents of Boston

BU scientist Nathan Phillips and his son Julian measuring gas leaks in Dorchester.

BU scientist Nathan Phillips and his son Julian measuring gas leaks in Dorchester.

What: Bike and car tour of natural gas leaks in Jamaica Plain

When: Sunday, November 17th at 1pm

Where: Meet at Bikes Not Bombs at the Jamaica Plain Brewery Complex

284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, MA02130

Entrance to Bikes Not Bombs is to the left of Ula Café entrance

RSVPs welcome or  to get involved in organizing this action and the on-going “Stop the Gas Leaks” campaign, contact: Becky Smith, Clean Water Action: bsmith<at>, 617-314-2347 or Boston Climate Action Network: BostonClimateAction<at>

Who Will Be Boston’s Climate Champion Mayor?

September 11, 2013

Live in Boston? Do you want the next Mayor to make climate and sustainability a high priority for prompt and ambitious action?

Sign the Neighborhoods for Climate Accountability petition.

Neighborhoods for Climate Accountability (N4CA) is a coalition of grassroots groups based in Boston neighborhoods. Convened by Boston Climate Action Network, its founding organizations are Green Dorchester, GreeningRozzie, Planet Southie, West Roxbury Saves Energy and Alternatives for Community and Environment.

N4CA is focused on making sure that Boston’s next Mayor is a climate champion. Our main strategy is linking a questionnaire on climate issues for the candidates with a petition for voters to show that climate is a key criteria for judging the readiness of the candidates. Eight of the Mayoral candidates have responded in depth to our questionnaire, addressing issues from health to solid waste, transportation, food security, and divestment from fossil fuel companies, among others.

As neighborhood-based groups, we bring a crucial element to climate politics in the City of Boston. There are several wonderful statewide and national environmental organizations in Boston but their memberships are largely outside the city. As the City administration prepares for the 2014 update of its Climate Action Plan – and our first new Mayor in 20 years – the voices of people who live in Boston’s neighborhoods must join with policy experts to shape practical and socially just solutions to the climate issues challenging our city and region.

We welcome endorsements from other neighborhood groups based in the City of Boston and other allies engaged promoting sustainability as an issue in the Boston mayoral outcome. Please read the candidates’ statements, sign the petition, and spread the word to your friends.

Will Boston’s Next Mayor Be a Climate Champion?

August 16, 2013

To show Boston’s mayoral candidates that you care about climate change and sustainable neighborhoods, please sign Neighborhoods for Climate Accountability’s voter pledge at or on this form.

My Mayor has to be a climate champion!


Neighborhoods for Climate Accountability is a recently formed coalition of groups based in Boston neighborhoods, convened by Alternatives for Community and EnvironmentBoston Climate Action NetworkGreen DorchesterGreeningRozziePlanet Southie, and West Roxbury Saves Energy. Each of our neighborhoods is unique, yet each is affected by climate change already and faces increasing vulnerability to storms, disease, and other ecological disruptions. In our shared concern for both short-term and long-term quality of life in our neighborhoods, we have formed this coalition to monitor and influence the City’s effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

We know that you share our vision of Boston neighborhoods acting in solidarity to become more resilient, a Boston that produces its own energy and conserves wisely that portion of our energy that we can’t produce, a Boston that is actively engaged with regional planning efforts on transportation, water management, food distribution, and all of the issues that we must address for Boston to remain vibrant in the face of climate change.

Boston’s first ever De-Paving Party!

July 10, 2013
Please come out on Saturday, July 13, for Boston’s first ever De-Paving Party (or at least the first one we’ve heard of)! We will be pulling up asphalt from two yards in this working-class, multi-ethnic neighborhood near Stop and Stop in the Hyde Square/Jackson Square area of Jamaica Plain.  From parking lots to paradise, we will help the Gay Head Green Block neighbors make their block more resilient in the face of climate change. Make room for gardens, trees, and recreation space. Help reduce urban heat island effect and storm water flooding, and have fun too!
Saturday, July 13, 9am till 4pm
13 Gay Head Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
We’ll have lunch in a neighbor’s yard, so feel free to come hungry or bring a dish to share. Kids are welcome to play in a neighbor’s yard or if they’re old enough to be safe, they can work with a responsible adult partner.Please RSVP so we know how many volunteers are coming:
or on Facebook at
or by email or phone: BostonClimateAction<at>gmail<dot>com or 857-544-6846.Join the party by signing up for one or more roles:
* Hands-on work:
- Use a sledgehammer and pick axe to pry up the asphalt
- Haul chunks of asphalt in a wheelbarrow to the dumpster
* Bring tasty food
* Take photos or video
* Help clean-upWe’ve got experienced De-Pavers coming from Someville Climate Action. Check out the time-lapse video of a previous de-paving event there:

Victory Party!

June 17, 2013

Come party with BostonCAN and the Green Justice Coalition on Wednesday, June 19, from 6 to 9pm at Nate Smith House, 115 Lamartine St., Jamaica Plain (Stony Brook station).

Councillor Matt O’Malley will be stopping by to celebrate our victory on BERDO, our Green Justice allies will tell the story of our successful campaign to improve Mass Save, and we’ll raise a toast to Loie’s tenure as Coordinator as she moves from staff to volunteer status. We’ll also be calling on party participants to share their visions of what the next Mayor of Boston might accomplish.

BostonCAN recently rallied support from neighborhood activists for successful passage of the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO). Designed to reduce climate change impacts while improving affordability and comfort for those living and working in the City’s largest buildings, BERDO requires large property owners to publicly disclose their buildings’ energy usage, letting the market incentivize owners to adopt energy-saving measures.

BostonCAN also played strategic roles in recent Green Justice Coalition energy efficiency equity victories, which will improve access to weatherization services for moderate-income ratepayers, who have historically been underserved by the Commonwealth’s Mass Save program.

With these victories secured, BostonCAN’s Board is turning its immediate attention to setting its goals for this year’s Mayoral campaign and the first year of the new administration.

Please RSVP if possible by calling 857-544-6846, emailing BostonClimateAction<at> or on Facebook at Thanks!

Boston 500: Challenge to Save Energy

May 31, 2013

Tomorrow, June 1, is a big day in Boston. In the midst of a heat advisory with temperatures expected in the 90s, a broad coalition of 40 community organizations and businesses are joining Mayor Menino in the Boston 500: Challenge to Save Energy, a citywide day of action to save energy, save money, and save the planet. Volunteers and organizers at more than 25 events in 12 Boston neighborhoods will aim to sign up 500 Boston residents for no-cost Renew Boston home energy assessments and weatherization.

The first Boston 500 event kicked off at 8am this morning at the administrative offices of the Boston Public Schools. The staff charged with supporting our youngest Bostonians were introduced to energy conservation strategies and became the first Renew Boston sign ups of the Challenge.

Sean Attri engages a Boston Public School staff  member about Renew Boston in the first Boston 500 event.

At 9am Saturday the Challenge begins with farmers, growers, and neighborhood organizations in Adams Park, who will celebrate the grand opening of the summer’s first Roslindale Farmers Market. GreeningRozzie will be giving out free trees with energy assessment signups and Boston Building Resources will display energy saving and green products for the home.

At 10:30 Boston’s Chief of Energy and Environment, Brian Swett will kick off a press conference outside the Jamaica Plain home of Laura Sylvan. Swett will announce exciting new energy efficiency incentives for Boston duplexes and triple deckers. Sylvan, the owner of a triple-decker, is hosting an “Energy Open House” from 10-12pm to invite neighbors to kick the tires on her new  Total Climate Control heating and cooling system and insulation installed by Renew Boston provider Next Step Living. Her’s is one of four “Energy Open House” events hosted by past Renew Boston customers on the day.

Volunteers and Renew Boston partners will fan out to a 5K “Let’s Get Movin” walk/run in East Boston, a Family Fun Day in Southie, a Family Rowing Day in Brighton, a haircuts and energy savings event at Biz Barbershop in Mattapan, and scores of diverse activities from Hyde Park to Chinatown. BostonCAN volunteers will gather sign-ups at Egleston Farmer’s Market, at Daisy Field, and at JP Licks. Drummers from 350MA will join us at JP Licks from 2 to 4pm.

Throughout the day volunteers at each event will tally up their Renew Boston sign ups, hold up a Boston 500 checkered flag with their number on it, and snap a photo. A speedometer will be updated hour by hour as the coalition drives toward 500.

Next Step Living estimates that, with a typical rate of conversion from sign up to energy assessment and weatherization, reaching 500 Renew Boston sign ups could eliminate the carbon pollution equivalent to taking 46 cars off the road for a full year and save residents over $50,000 on annual energy bill in addition to reducing noxious emissions that cause respiratory diseases and creating new green jobs.

~Guest blog by Josh Lynch


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