Our node was formed about 10 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.
- convinced all of Lowell’s City Councilors (a) to vote for 45% more renewable-energy content than the state minimum in the new electricity contract, despite an expected increase in cost, and (b) to pursue a new staff position to facilitate the use of state programs to insulate low-income residences, access subsidies, and otherwise more than offset the cost increase.
- 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
- put out a report showing how deadly heat islands are to Lowell and other urban communities
Since our inception, we have:
- in 2021, 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
- in 2020, passed by a strong majority a local, advisory ballot question to promote a fast transition to renewable energy
- in 2019, convinced the City to provide 45% more renewable energy electricity than required by law through Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)
- 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
- also in 2017, 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 public festivals, and otherwise let the public know about the climate crisis and what can be done
Some of our ongoing efforts are:
- gearing up for the appeal by the energy company regarding the gas pipeline expansion
- initiating an effort to install solar panels on the roof of Lowell high school
- fighting for Lowell to maintain our high renewable-energy content thru the CCA program
- 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. During the pandemic, we have focused on Lowell’s 87 faith communities and also on fraternal groups and libraries. 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.