Our node was formed about 12 years ago to build a local organization that could fight for local and statewide solutions in the battle against climate change.  Through our accomplishments and activities, we have become known as a voice for climate justice in the area.

Recently we and the advisory Lowell Sustainability Council successfully urged the Lowell City Council to create a sustainability department, including a new position of Sustainability Director.  In the 2023-4 fiscal year, the Sustainability Director will oversee a budget of almost $800,000.

Since our inception, we have:

  • in 2022, advocated successfully for the Lowell City Council to create the new staff position of Energy Advocate, as proposed by Lowell's Energy Manager, to facilitate the use of state programs to insulate low-income residences and access federal and state subsidies, and otherwise more than offset the electricity rate increase
  • in 2021, 
    • successfully urged the Lowell City Council to vote for 45% more renewable-energy content than the state minimum in the new electricity contract, despite an expected increase in rates
    • raised the visibility of climate issues by asking all City Council candidates what they think Lowell should do, and circulated their written responses through social media and email
    • convinced the Lowell Conservation Commission to protect our wetlands by rejecting the expansion of a local gas pipeline by one of Massachusetts's biggest energy companies
    • researched and published a report showing how deadly heat islands are to Lowell and other urban communities
  • in 2020,
    • passed by a strong majority a local, advisory ballot question to promote a fast transition to renewable energy
    • researched and developed GreenFaithLowell, a website with seven sets of faith-specific resources for educating faith communities about climate change, then compiled a list of Lowell's 87 faith leaders and mailed and emailed them a flyer about it
  • in 2019, convinced the City to provide 45% more renewable energy electricity through Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) than required by law
  • in 2018, promoted a solarization program expanding the accessibility of solar panels and heat pumps in housing
  • in 2017,
    • convinced the City Council to pass resolutions setting a goal to be 100% renewable by 2035
    • created an award-winning TV show on the public access channel
  • in 2015, convinced the City Council to pass a resolution supporting divestment legislation
  • lobbied our state legislative delegation on multiple occasions regarding climate legislation
  • raised awareness of gas leaks within the community
  • held banner drops and stand-outs, marched in parades, had booths at many public festivals, and otherwise let the public know about the climate crisis and what can be done

Some of our ongoing efforts are:

  • to meet with our state representatives at least once every year to lobby for 350 Mass priority legislation, and to attend lobby days at the statehouse
  • to participate in four 350 Mass working groups -- Statewide Steering Team, Statewide Legislative Team, Transportation Working Group, and Federal Engagement Working Group
  • an effort to install solar panels on the roof of Lowell's new High School
  • getting the City Council to support state-wide divestment of fossil fuel investments

In addition, outreach is an ongoing activity.  We have been a presence at Lowell’s many festivals and other public events.  In light of recent developments within the progressive community, we have expanded our aims to include solutions created in coalition with other groups working for economic and social justice.  While promoting climate awareness, we are emphasizing its disproportionate impacts on working people and people of color in our diverse community.  

We value working with other progressive groups, whether by helping local groups start up in surrounding towns or combining efforts to achieve common goals.