The 350 Massachusetts Metrowest node is a gathering of those who want to learn more about the remedies for the climate crisis through supporting any of several local campaigns. Our node is part of the organization 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future (350mass.betterfutureproject.org). Our public meetings are usually the first Thursday of the month with locations alternating between Wayland and Sudbury. All are encouraged to sit in on the subgroup meetings for the initiatives as well as the planning group that meets one week later to plan the next meeting.
TOWNS IN OUR NODE:
Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Concord, Framingham, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Marlborough, Maynard, Natick, Sherborn, Stow, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston. See the current list of other 350 Mass nodes and towns here: 350mass.betterfutureproject.org/our_nodes.
WHY JOIN 350 MASSACHUSETTS?
350 Massachusetts (350Mass) is one of the most well-organized climate activist groups in the state, and our meetings are one of the best places to meet other activists in your region; we are organizing grassroots power for strong, science-based climate action. We see climate change as the greatest challenge faced by humanity. If you are worried, concerned, curious to learn more, and looking to join a friendly group to take meaningful action — or, if you are already an activist looking to expand your circle of connections – join us! Bring your questions, talents and skills to where they are most needed.
Many who attend 350Mass meetings are already active in climate change or other social justice issues within their town or church. We are not alone in this effort and want to work with other groups in our region, so let us know who you are. An overlap of effort is helpful in building awareness for all climate-related issues. Take back information on 350Mass to your other groups as you share information about your groups with us, thereby strengthening the larger movement.
WHO ARE WE?
350 Massachusetts for a Better Future is addressing the climate crisis by building a powerful social movement to hold our politicians accountable and to confront the destructive influence of the fossil fuel industry. 350 Massachusetts For a Better Future is a statewide volunteer climate action network that includes hundreds of engaged activists across the state. The Metrowest node is one of 17 nodes of the statewide network 350Mass. The Better Future Project (BFP) is a non-profit organization founded in the summer of 2011. In June 2012, BFP launched a volunteer-led grassroots movement then called 350MA, and in the fall of 2014 we renamed ourselves “350 Massachusetts for a Better Future”. Although closely aligned with the mission and vision of 350.org, 350Mass is independent of 350.org. Communication throughout the state is facilitated by a monthly newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here: betterfutureproject.org/join.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN BFP AND 350MASS?
BFP funds staff support for 350Mass, including BFP Executive Director Craig Altemose, Alan Palm, Director of Organizing; Vignesh Ramachandra, Digital Organizer; Alyssa Lee, Director of Campus Program; Sabrina Wilson, Operations; Andy Gordon, Legislative Coordinator; and Lisa Young, Partnerships Organizer. The email for any of these folks is . BFP also has a 10-member Board of Trustees; for names and details, see https://www.betterfutureproject.org/board
WHAT DOES 350MASS METROWEST DO?
The Metrowest node meetings are typically on the first Thursday of the month, followed one week later with a planning meeting. The members of the Metrowest node participate in all three statewide campaigns and in building broad-based support for and the development of a Massachusetts Green New Deal. We are active locally in Metrowest, hosting speakers, coordinating local actions, and organizing rallies.
HOW DOES 350MASS ORGANIZE ITS WORK?
Volunteers choose campaign priorities, set strategy, work with the media, organize events, educate their communities, lobby lawmakers, and more. Each node sends two elected representatives to the Statewide Steering Team (SST). The SST convenes biweekly on conference calls and holds quarterly in-person meetings. Its function is to make decisions that affect the entire statewide network. The current volunteer SST co-coordinator is Sabine von Mering.
Every other year, 350Mass volunteers decide on one or more specific campaigns to work on, so that our efforts are focused and effective. Each node gives its input to the Statewide Steering Team, which selects the campaigns based on the nodes’ rankings. We are calling our current campaign The Road to a New Green Deal, which will focus on a rapid decarbonization of our economy along with massive government investment in green jobs and climate resilience infrastructure, and will address longstanding racial, economic, environmental, and other social inequities. Specific bills in the Massachusetts House will be filed during the winter of 2019.
In addition, we will continue work on our past campaigns:
- The Legislative Campaign, focusing on
5five specific issues: carbon pricing, solar, RPS (the Renewable Portfolio Standard), gas leaks, and pipeline taxes.
- The 100% Renewable campaign, working with towns local to each note to help them move towards 100% renewable energy;
- Each campaign has a Node Campaign Coordinator, who is the node’s liaison to each statewide campaign.
Note that 350Mass is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, which means we can’t get involved in working for particular candidates. But we have a sister organization, 350Mass Action, that can do that, and 350Mass Action has a corresponding Metrowest chapter.
Outcomes We Prioritize:
Environmental Justice – Include communities impacted by climate change and fossil fuel pollution as participants in crafting new, equitable policy.
100% Renewable Energy – Set an ambitious goal to equitably reach 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy for heating and transportation by 2045.
Equitable Investment in Green Infrastructure – Use mechanisms such as equitable carbon pricing initiative or the transportation climate initiative (TCI) to invest today to create the future we want.
Time critical actions: Check back as the Massachusetts legislative agenda develops in 2019.
MUNICIPAL SUSTAINABILITY CHECKLIST
We have created a municipal “sustainability checklist” that can help towns compare what they are doing with other towns, as well as get ideas and encourage collaboration. The checklist helps residents understand what towns are doing and not doing, as well as helping them to set priorities for local advocacy. The checklist is also an excellent tool for organizers of local groups building networks of people who care about sustainability.
Click here for details.