Do you ever imagine how Boston might look if a storm like Sandy hit us squarely, the way it did New York? Water pouring into T-stations? Homes flooded in East Boston, Chinatown, Dorchester, the Back Bay? Power outages lasting for weeks, and businesses without workers and customers?
The climate dice are loaded and the number of people already affected is rising. As climate-concerned Bostonians, we know this could be what Boston faces if we don’t step up our organizing efforts to transition to a clean energy future—the only future that is sustainable for our community and our planet.
If you’re like us, you may feel that your personal actions aren’t making a big enough impact. That’s why grassroots groups like Boston Climate Action Network (BostonCAN) are so important. Through education, organizing, and advocacy, we link individuals in disparate neighborhoods and from varied backgrounds with broader coalition efforts to address climate change at the city, state, federal, and even international levels.
Through creative and effective organizing, we have engaged hundreds of households in carbon reduction projects: accessing residential energy efficiency programs, participating in Green Block events such as Green Home Makeovers, and building new consciousness and relationships through Low Carbon Living groups, movie nights, and Green Home tours.
Although our success is significant, we need to engage more Boston households in our campaign, especially those not traditionally involved in “green” initiatives.
BostonCAN is making a difference. Our volunteers are a creative and hardworking bunch, and we play strategic roles in keeping Boston’s focus on climate change.
- We are a core player in the Green Justice Coalition campaign to make the MassSave program more equitable and more in line with what climate science demands.
- We organize resident participation in the City’s greening efforts, from the landmark Climate Action Plan to the forthcoming Hazard Mitigation Plan.
- We train “green block” leaders working with their neighbors to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and increase their resiliencyin the face of climate change.
- We testify before politicians and policy-makers, advocating for a more energy-efficient and fossil-fuel free future.
- We craft skits and musical performances to bring climate information to new audiences in Jamaica Plain, Dudley Square, Franklin Park, East Boston, and Downtown Crossing.
This year we launched an exciting new initiative to broaden the base for climate action in Boston. We held two focus groups to discuss views on climate change within the Latino community, building evidence to counter the notion that only upper-class white people care about climate change. Early in 2013, our Latino Engagement Campaign will sponsor a minga—a South American term for a hands-on neighborhood weatherization work party, or “barnraising”—complete with a mini career fair and children’s activities.
We’ve been blessed with support from a number of foundations, but we need your help to step up our organizing efforts. Your time, your creativity, and your financial support are what makes BostonCAN an important part of the climate action movement.
To kickstart the minga and ensure a sustainable campaign for climate justice in Boston, we are aiming to raise $5,000 by January 15th. Please make a donation today, either on-line by choosing Boston Climate Action Network under “program designation” or by sending a check to BostonCAN, PO Box 300984, Boston, Ma 02130. And however you’ve been involved in climate action in the past, please join us in pledging to step up your commitment today.
Thanks so much for your generosity and forward-thinking vision.