BostonCAN is hiring a part-time coordinator!

February 11, 2015

We are excited that our funders have decided to renew their support for 2015, and we are able to hire a part-time coordinator!  Read more for the full job description.

Who is BostonCAN?

BostonCAN is a group of Boston residents taking action in personal, social, and political ways to achieve climate justice. Our organization is comprised of an 8-member Board, a 10 member ” action team” which implements our campaigns, and a membership of over 600 activists.

BostonCAN seeks a part-time Coordinator for a one year period beginning in March 2015 to coordinate its two principal campaigns: influencing the implementation of the City of Boston’s Climate Action Plan, and advocating for reduction in the use of natural gas by stopping leaks and promoting alternatives to new gas infrastructure.

Responsibilities

  • coordinate weekly meetings and campaign activities of our action team
  • help to implement Boston’s climate action plan by: building relationships with City officials and political knowledge about how to influence the new administration; strengthening relationships with partner groups and developing a shared action agenda; and helping to corral data, funding, and other necessary resources needed for plan implementation
  • help to steer Boston and Massachusetts towards energy policy that is not reliant on natural gas by: publicizing the problem of gas leaks in Boston and working to fix the leaks; tying the gas leaks issue with that of proposed natural gas pipelines; and working with partner groups to change the dominant narrative, from natural gas as a “bridge” fuel to localized, democratized renewable energy production
  • recruit new members to our campaigns via kickoff events organized with the action team in Spring 2015
  • plan and facilitate meetings and events with partner groups and with City and State officials in order to further our campaigns
  • facilitate board meetings, including strategic planning and board development
  • organize and attend campaign-related events, including occasional public speaking
  • coordinate communications, including drafting and distributing regular newsletters, maintaining our blog, and ensuring that our member database is updated
  • manage funds with the Board treasurer and fiscal sponsor
  • work with the Board and partners on funding proposals
  • document activities and write reports for funders

Qualifications

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • at least 2 years community organizing experience, including creating campaign strategies, recruiting new members, and implementing campaigns while developing organizational leadership
  • ability to work flexible hours, including some evenings and weekends, attending events throughout Boston
  • familiarity with the issues of energy policy, climate change, environmental justice, public health, and community development
  • experience working with small, grassroots organizations
  • experience working with, and preferably coordinating, collaborative networks
  • experience working with diverse constituencies, including low-income communities of color, public officials, private sector partners, and non-native English speakers
  • knowledge of Boston neighborhoods and with the diverse array of groups working on climate change from a variety of perspectives
  • ability to communicate in a second language widely spoken in Boston (Spanish, Haitian, Cape Verdean or Haitian Creole, etc.) a plus
  • Experience writing grants a plus

Compensation

BostonCAN’s board anticipates $25,000 will be available for this part-time position, with rate per hour, hours per week, and availability of benefits to be decided collaboratively between the new Coordinator and Board. The position is anticipated to last one year from the start date, with the opportunity of renewal contingent on funding.

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to bostonclimateaction@gmail.com by Sunday, March 8th. We plan on conducting interviews the week of March 16th, and having the Coordinator start in late March.


Pipelines Are In the News…

January 23, 2015

… and so are we! Check out Monica holding up an end of BostonCAN’s great GAStastrophe sign. If you listen very closely you can hear Stef beating the drum that was featured in the Boston Globe‘s article on the Jan 25 West Roxbury protest against the Spectra pipeline. (photo: Scott Eisen, Boston Globe)

WRox protest 1-25-2014

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s just the start of it.

On January 22 the Boston Globe reported that Boston’s methane gas emissions are two-and-a-half times larger than experts thought. Our old pipelines and storage facilities are leaking enough gas to heat 200,000 homes and it’s costing us $90 million a year.

Meanwhile, West Roxbury residents are fighting to keep a new gas supply pipeline from crossing their neighborhood, with a regulating station next to a quarry that regularly detonates dynamite. And our new attorney general supports renewable energy and opposes the Kinder Morgan pipeline across northern Mass.

All this adds up to an enormous shift in public thinking about “natural” gas. It’s not clean; it’s methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. It’s not efficient; it’s leaking all over Boston. It’s not a bridge fuel; it’s a bridge to climate disaster. And more natural gas pipelines are not going to solve our energy problems.

Take action!

Write a letter to the editor of your neighborhood paper and spread the word about unnatural gas. Talking points are below; email bostonclimateaction@gmail.com if you want advice or help.

Stop the West Roxbury pipeline. Email bostonclimateaction@gmail.com if you want to join future actions.

Call your city councilor at 617-635-3040. Tell them the City should getting these leaky pipelines repaired ASAP, and the City should keep new pipelines out of Boston.

Join our Gas Pipe Action Team. Email bostonclimateaction@gmail.com . We will be finding leaky pipes, getting them fixed fast, and making sure gas companies don’t build huge new pipelines into our state.

Talking points for letters to the editor

  • Leaky pipelines are costing us. National Grid’s ancient pipes are leaking enough gas to heat 200,000 homes. We are paying $90 million a year because NGrid hasn’t repaired its pipes.
  • “Natural” gas is a killer. It kills trees and shrubs. It aggravates asthma and other respiratory diseases.
  • “Natural” gas is really methane, a greenhouse gas that is 86 times worse than carbon dioxide in the short term. (The short term, the next 10 to 15 years, is when we need to be doing everything possible to cut greenhouse gas emissions.)
  • “Natural” gas isn’t a bridge to a clean energy future. It’s a deadly fuel that may be as dirty as coal.
  • We don’t need new natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts. Instead, the utility companies need to
    • Repair their old, leaky pipelines and stop wasting the gas we have.
    • Cut the demand for gas by charging more for electricity during peak demand times – very cold and very hot days. (The problem isn’t us heating our houses, it’s an electrical grid that is too dependent on gas.)
    • Get the electrical system off gas and onto renewables – wind and solar power.
  • And most important — talk about your own experience and how you feel about gas leaks, climate change, and our future.

People’s Climate March in Review

October 13, 2014

BostonCAN’s message of taking action at personal, neighborhood, and political levels to build a movement for climate justice was echoed by about 400,000 people on New York City on Sept. 21. The People’s Climate March was timed to coincide with a United Nations Summit on Climate Change. According to the UN, “Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.  But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

“There is a sense that change is in the air. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action.  He has asked these leaders to bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015. Climate Summit 2014 provides a unique opportunity for leaders to champion an ambitious vision, anchored in action that will enable a meaningful global agreement in 2015.”

While it’s too soon to know what effects the march and related organizing efforts will have, many national organizations collaborated to build a more diverse coalition than at previous national environmental and energy organizing efforts. Signs and banners throughout the march for resilience, justice, and sustainability created an impression of a significantly more inclusive and diverse social movement.

A large number of BostonCAN’s allies organized their members to attend the march, including MassEnergy, Bikes Not Bombs, ACE, City Life, Clean Water Action, Boston Climate Action Network and JPNET.  Many BostonCAN members also attended.  One of the youngest marchers, baby Lula Pearl of Jamaica Plain with , got a personal greeting from 350.org leader Bill McKibben.

BNB Banner JP MarchersMcKibben with Lula


Lobster Boat Trial Recap from Reita

September 11, 2014

Three BostonCAN members headed to Fall River this past Monday, September 8th, to support climate activists Ken Ward and Jay O’Hara, who were arrested after using a lobster boat to block a shipment of coal to the Brayton Point Power Plant last May.  Here is more from Reita about her experience:

When Suzette, Lauren and I arrived at the Fall River Courthouse where Jay and Ken were to begin their trial, Quakers were already sitting silently in a half circle, with other small groups appearing, including the principles, their attorneys, members of the press and activist supporters and their leaders.

I sat through the brief trial procedure, mostly chatting with people next to me during the frequent recesses.

On the elevator ride up to the courtroom, Ken chuckled about singing the Folsom Prison blues, but he and Jay and their families were pretty subdued.  There were only 32 seats in the Courtroom that were available to the public.  The other 32 seats were to be reserved for the possible jurors.  Later, as it became clear that there would be no jury trial, these seats were filled.  The judge was tough and fair.  Near the end of the proceedings when the courtroom was packed, he asked if people were in the outside hallway.  When he was told there were, he had the doors to the Courtroom  opened, noting that the Court was open to the public.  I liked that.

Earlier, Tim deChristopher who sort of acted as manager, set up a system for  us to shuttle in and out of the Courtroom without disturbance. We were reminded of appropriate court behavior–no cheering or booing.

After the details of the surprise withdrawal of criminal charges had been worked out, and the settlement of civil charges with a $4000 fine for reimbursement to the Town of Somerset , we left the Courtroom and gathered outside to celebrate.  I’m not much for speeches, so I was kind of on the edge of the crowd when I heard the D.A. Sam Sutter make a statement supporting activist efforts opposing climate change.  Then he was holding up a Rolling Stone Magazine with a recent McKibben article in it  and saying he was going to the Peoples Climate March.  Wow, what a guy!

After the excitement of this pronouncement, we  sang some songs together, and walked to a nearby church where 350MA had set up a generous lunch.  Then back home.  It was a grand day.

To hear Ken and Jay on Democracy Now! and learn more about the blockade, trial, and post-trial media coverage, click here.


Rally Against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline

July 28, 2014

Pipeline Rally Poster

The company Kinder Morgan’s plans for a new natural gas pipeline in Massachusetts couldn’t get worse. Not only are they trying to clear cut their way through 45 Massachusetts towns to build this dirty pipeline, but new evidence shows that they are working to force all electricity ratepayers to help pay for it through a tariff – an unprecedented and creepy measure that would allow private interests to empty our pocketbooks without democratic process. Come join us to rally at the State House this Wednesday, June 30th, 10:30am – 1:00pm, in Downtown Boston.*

Governor Patrick has signed into law some of the strongest environmental laws in New England. We’ve made huge progress on expanding clean energy, such as solar and wind, but this is a step in the wrong direction. It’s time to push forward for clean renewable energy and conservation.

When BostonCAN members came together in June to reflect on our successful spring campaign on natural gas leaks, we decided we wanted to spend the summer re-framing our work more broadly, targeting the natural gas industry in general and particularly this pipeline.

* A smaller contingent of rally goers will lobby their representatives at the State House between 9 and 11 am. If interested or with any questions, contact ninya.loeppky@gmail.com.


Leaking Natual Gas Pipes: Dangerous and Costly!

May 2, 2014

On April 17 a natural gas explosion destroyed a home in Dorchester, injuring a dozen people, two of them seriously. While we don’t know for certain that the gas leak came from an old pipe, we do know that National Grid had been called to the residence numerous times before to respond to the odor of leaking gas. Tragic explosions have occurred in recent years in Springfield, Gloucester, Fitchburg, Somerset, and Winthrop, in addition to Dorchester!

Natural gas leaks are also dangerous to our atmosphere. Natural gas is composed of methane, which is 34 times more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. According to Conservation Law Foundation, in Massachusetts “1,725 million cubic feet is lost through leaks each year — more than the 1,097 cubic feet saved through efficiency gains” through Mass Save.

Natural gas leaks are as costly as they are dangerous. Methane build up in the soil around these leaking pipes also is killing our trees at the roots. In Brookline alone, tree damage is estimated at $1,000,000. The cost for the trees is paid for the taxpayers. We also pay for the lost gas, even though it never gets to our homes. The Department of Public Utilities permits gas utilities to charge ratepayers for all the gas they put into the pipelines, not what’s actually delivered to our homes. CLF estimates that “Massachusetts ratepayers have paid over $1.5 billion for natural gas that never made it to their homes.”

Boston’s Climate Action Plan, last updated 3 years ago, does not include any recognition of leaking gas pipes as part of the City’s greenhouse gas inventory. Join BostonCAN on May 15th for a Gas Leaks Meet-Up to call on the City to count the leaks and advocate for replacing the old cast iron pipes in a prompt and systematic manner.

Gas Leaks InfographicHorizontal.print_.2-1024x662


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

Sincerely,

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.


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