June 2023 Newsletter
ECA Mass Meetings
Have you visited our Facebook page? Not yet? Here’s what you’re missing…
Join over 1300 ECA Mass members who have been following us on Facebook. Our Facebook page features listings of upcoming events (in-person and Zoom), news about climate change solutions, carbon saving ideas, and links to other organizations’ events, and more.

Visit the ECA Mass Facebook page and click the like button!

Phillip Sego
Budget, Briefings, Hearings & More
MA State House Update
MA Budget Priorities
Although the Boston Globe tells us our legislature is off to the slowest start in its long history of slow movement on bills, there has been a lot for your Legislative (Leg) Team to attend to over the past couple of months. We were more engaged in the annual budget process this year than ever before, supporting the Environmental League of MA green budget priorities in the House and convincing Senator Eldridge to submit an amendment to the Senate budget to increase funding for the Clean Energy Center by $10 million (sadly, not adopted). The budget bill is now in conference committee to iron out House/Senate differences. We will also track the development of an Environmental Bond Bill if it is introduced by Governor Healey. 
Climate Bank & Other Funds
Our allies have been busy setting up legislative briefings on legislation that we are supporting, including bills creating a climate bank to finance decarbonization projects, a zero carbon renovation fund to retrofit buildings with heat pumps and energy efficiency measures, and a superfund financed by the fossil fuel industry to cover the costs of climate adaptation. 
Our Legislative Priorities
Our Leg Team has been wrapping up a deep dive into the bills filed on decarbonizing buildings, transportation, and energy, along with legislation targeted at natural solutions. You can find a near final draft of our proposed priorities here. The Energy and Buildings Working Groups will be presenting their proposed priorities at the June chapter meeting.
Other Worthy Bills
In addition to bills related to the main decarbonization sectors, there are dozens of other bills that have been filed dealing with climate adaptation, reducing plastic pollution, divestment of fossil fuel investments, recycling, and other issues. The Leg Team doesn’t have the bandwidth to take on these bills, but welcomes volunteers stepping up to advocate for them. The Team can offer guidance on effective advocacy. If you’re interested, email roger.luckmann@umassmed.edu
It's All About Strategy
Hearings on our priority bills may be coming up at any time between now and December. Our working groups have to be ready with a strategy for coordinating oral testimony with our allies and with written testimony that offers strong evidence and arguments in support of our bills. It’s often the case that we’ll advocate for elements from two or more bills to be combined to most effectively address an issue. We anticipate that at the end of the legislative session in July 2024 there will likely be another climate omnibus bill that will reflect those pieces of legislation that survive the sausage making process. 
At a recent strategy meeting, Leg Team members discussed our options for focusing our legislative advocacy and increasing its effectiveness based on all we have learned over the last several years. Soon we will be reviewing approaches to monitoring, influencing, and accelerating implementation of existing legislation by the Healey administration. This task presents some new challenges in engaging with administration staff and tracking program development and implementation. We continue to look for ways that we can best add value to the collective effort of the MA climate movement given our unique strengths, talents, and passions and being mindful of limitations in our time and energy.

Roger Luckmann

Testifying on Legislation:
A Great Way to
Make a Difference
One of the best ways to show your and ECA’s support for a specific piece of proposed legislation is by testifying to the committee responsible for reviewing it. There are committees doing this work in both the House (for House bills) and Senate (for Senate bills). They hold public hearings and it can make a lot of difference when they receive written or oral (in person/zoom) testimony in support of a bill.

Your statement should be personal and short. You only have three minutes if delivering your comments orally. I find it is good to describe my direct experience of something relevant if I can, and to cite relevant research from reputable sources. And don’t forget, our secret power as elders is to quote something a grandchild said to us about the future climate!

Finally, stay aware of which committee is reviewing the bill and register in advance to give testimony. Members of our Legislative Team can help with this if they know you’re interested in presenting. You can email me at rickmlent@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to answer questions or guide you through the process.

Rick Lent
ECA Mass Out and About
SAT, JUNE 17, 11AM
Join our Berkshires allies to help preserve October Mountain State Forest. Event includes a forest walk, speakers, and food. Find more information here.Link

Tina Grosowsky hosted a table for ECA at the Westborough Sustainability Fair on Saturday May 13.

Book Review
Under the Sky We Make:
How to Be Human in a Warming World
Check out our new website!
Members of the Communications Team, with our consultant Bob Plaskon, have been working on revising the website. You can find information there more easily now. And as before it is a great resource for looking up recordings of past chapter meetings, Deep Dialogues, and speakers at the Expert series. We will also be using it to update our legislative efforts more regularly. You can find it here: https://ecamass.org/

Explore the pages and let us have your feedback.

Rick Lent
Join the State House Standout
Interested in peacefully demonstrating?
Our ally, Extinction Rebellion, has begun a perpetual State House Stand-Out. Each business day, 2+ climate activists are peacefully and determinedly stationed outside the State House from 9am - 5pm with signs, flags, and banners. Volunteers will deliver creative postcards bearing demands to the Governor's office at the start of their shift. This will continue until the governor publicly commits to no new fossil fuel infrastructure, or the legislature passes a law that bans new fossil fuel infrastructure. Find out more here.

If you're interested in signing up for Stand-Out shifts, email fossilfuels.standout.ma@proton.me. 
This Newsletter is Published for Members and Friends of the
Elders Climate Action - Massachusetts Chapter
ECA Massachusetts is a chapter of the national Elders Climate Action. We are a movement of elders committed to making our voices heard... to change our nation's policies while there is still time to avoid catastrophic changes in the Earth's climate. Visit the ECA Massachusetts website, event calendar, and Facebook page to learn more about our chapter's activities and climate news. JOIN ECA MASSACHUSETTS AND STAY CONNECTED! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and for more active participation, sign up to receive Action Alerts and meeting announcements. Fill out our subscription form.