Kayla just posted a great summary of what went on at our week-long retreat in Winthrop, MA.  We are gearing up around Massachusetts to begin pushing for our bill, An Act to Create a Repower Massachusetts Emergency Task Force, that will establish a group of experts to determine how to get the Commonwealth to 100% clean electricity in Massachusetts.

Right now we need NUMBERS.  We are focusing much of our attention on recruitment and retention and trying to make this the most successful semester to date.  In order to do that, Jeff Gang, former Western Mass Recruitment Coordinator and now Western Mass Co-Campaign Coordinator, sent me an email he used as a recruitment tool in the past.

It is brilliant to post on this blog for two reasons:

1. It will get you to come to our events, lobby for us, and join our fight for a clean electric (and eventually carbon neutral) future for Massachusetts and the United States.

2. It will help you, after you are convinced by this email to join our efforts, to get your friends, colleagues and general people you know to come!

I CHALLENGE ALL OF YOU TO SEND THIS EMAIL TO ALL OF YOUR EMAIL CONTACTS

(and replace your name with Jeff’s!)

Top 10 Reasons to Join the LC

Hi Friend,

You’re receiving this email because you and I talked about The Leadership Campaign (the people sleeping out in tents for clean electricity) in some context this past semester. And I’d like you to consider working with us more actively this spring. Here are the Top 10 Reasons to work with The Leadership Campaign:

  • Climate change is serious, and we’re proposing a serious solution: 100% clean electricity (carbon-free) by 2020 in Massachusetts.
  • We aim high. Our goal is to get our state to 100% clean electricity by 2020. This more ambitious than other groups and politicians, but it’s what the scientific community tells us we need.
  • We get things done. This fall, we worked with state legislators and senators to craft, introduce, and sponsor a bill establishing a panel to investigate how to get the state to 100% clean electricity by 2020. We received 16 co-sponsors. Last spring, we passed a resolution in both chambers calling on Congress to push for the same goal.
  • We run our own campaign. The LC is made up of a network of groups in Massachusetts, led by Students for a Just and Stable Future (the group that used to be called Mass Powershift). Everything we do is voted on and decided by us, not some bureaucrat or obscure group of people.
  • We’re leading the way. It’s no coincidence that we’re starting this movement in the same state where the American Revolution started – we aim to lead the nation with bold legislation to switch our state toward a more sustainable future. Oh, and…
  • It’s working. Our campaign message and tactics are already being deployed in Ohio and we’ve received accolades from the leaders of the national youth climate movement.
  • We use serious tactics. Remember when Al Gore said, “I can’t understand why there aren’t rings of young people blocking bulldozers and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power stations”? Yeah, we do too – and we’re doing something more constructive but just as powerful. By invoking the power of the civil rights movement, we’re showing that we are serious about our future. As a result,
  • We get noticed. Our list of press hits is huge, including serious newspaper (Boston Globe), TV news , and blog (Huffington Post et al.) coverage. Getting the message out helps change the world, building the movement.
  • People like us. Climate movement torchbearers Bill McKibben and James Hansen joined us not only in risking arrest and sleeping out, but also in hanging out and talking about the movement.
  • WE NEED YOU. You are capable, smart, educated, funny, and bring a unique perspective, unique talents, and a unique personality. If you care about low-lying ocean states or high Himalayan glaciers, if you care about polar bears in the arctic or hemlock trees in our state, if you care about the 2 billion humans who are “dependent on the environment for a significant part of their daily livelihoods” or the 6.7 billion who live on Earth, if you’re mad that the US is responsible for 25% of all CO2 emitted, ever, but won’t take the lead – WE need YOU.

Our focus this spring is to get our bill passed by Earth Day. We just had a weeklong retreat to hash out our plans, and it’s exciting to look forward. I hope you’re part of our efforts this spring!

If you’d like to get involved, please go to our website to learn more, or just reply.

Sincerely (really),

Jeff Gang

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Guest Post by: Kayla Russell, Metro West Regional Coordinator

So as the Leadership Campaign’s fall semester has come to an end a lot of us, while enjoying our holidays and school break, have been ready to continue fighting our good and necessary fight. So, in order to continue on our path to clean energy we have gathered in the First Church of Winthrop United Methodists. Yes, we are in Winthrop, a town that has been described to us as only having visitors when said visitors have an actual reason to come here. Basically, no one “just goes” to Winthrop but we’ve been enjoying our time here and have the United Methodist Church community to thank for that. It’s been a week of 3 generally vegan meals a day cooked in bulk, passionate conversation, chilly nights on pew cushions and most importantly, no showers. So where we are now is on the verge of getting our bill passed and starting off a new chapter for our campaign with new tactics for recruitment, events, lobbying, and every other aspect it’s going to take to bring the success we need to meet our goals.

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Jay’s post was nothing short than brilliant.  Mine….won’t be so reflective, but rather an announcement on what we have accomplished.

OUR BILL WAS INTRODUCED INTO THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE LEGISLATURE.

Craig says I can’t swear.  If I was going to swear…THIS WOULD BE WHERE I WOULD BE DOING IT!! I could end the post right here!! For only a 7 week campaign, having a bill introduced in the state legislature is nothing short of incredible.

The bill is named: An Act to Create a Repower Massachusetts Emergency Task Force and was introduced on the 68th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the first day of international climate negotiations in Copenhagen.

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We will be hosting our FINAL SLEEPOUT this Sunday, December 6th.  Joining us this week will be Reverend Yearwood, President and CEO of The Hip Hop Caucus! Rally begins at 3PM at Boston Common across from the Statehouse.

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THREE GREAT SCHOOLS HAVE JOINED OUR CAMPAIGN:

Emmanuel College

Lesley University

Lassel College

 

Thank you and welcome aboard!

 

-Dan

 

PS: Great work at Harvard, read their live blogging below!

 

The Challenge:

A month ago we made a petition on change.org that for each signatory we get, an email is sent to Governor Patrick and the signatory’s state representation calling on them to introduce and pass legislation that will re-power the state with 100% clean electricity by 2020.

THE PETITION: CLEAN ELECTRICITY FOR MA!

 

The Goal:

1,000 signatures by November 30

Why:

It is the next time we expect to have formal discussions with the Patrick Administration.  It is also one week before our deadline for them (December 7).

 

Have you signed already?

THAT IS GREAT! THANK YOU! Make it a personal goal to recruit 10 of your friends to sign.  How? Tweet about it (check @thelcampaign for an example), Facebook about it, email about it…etc.  It is SO EASY.

 

Guest Post from Vera Cecelski, student at Williams College

Early Monday morning, in the middle of Boston, with bright streetlights and roaring street cleaners all around, I wake up. For a moment, I forget where I am—it’s dark, and there are voices shouting somewhere close by, and a flashlight beam is wandering across the inside of my tent. Nothing looks or feels like my familiar Williams dorm room.

Gradually, the blur of voices resolves into words (“Everyone, out of the tents! Everybody out, NOW!”), and I remember what I’m supposed to be doing.  I slip on shoes and stagger out into the darkness, winding my way between tents to the crowd of people standing nearby. In near silence, we stand and shiver a little, watching the police clear out the rest of our tents. Before long, there are a hundred and fifty of us huddled together and the police are giving us their warning.

We were all told that we would have this chance, that we would be warned and given the opportunity to leave the common and avoid getting citations. There is a momentary tension, people’s shoulders tightening against the cold, but only a few people leave slowly. A police officer addresses my friend and I directly: “Hey, ladies, you can leave now, you know. If you just walk right up there, you won’t have to deal with this.” He looks concerned. “If you just leave in the next two minutes you won’t get a citation.” We smile and nod, “We know, we know, thank you, we’re staying.” We reassure him and he nods at us and moves on down the line.

One of the student leaders walks by, counting heads, and we catch his attention, getting the latest count on how many people stayed: over 120 Massachusetts college students willing to receive trespassing citations for the sake of clean energy activism.  One hundred and twenty of us, standing in long lines in a city park to give our names and addresses to patient police officers.

As I wait in line, my legs shaking with cold, or maybe adrenaline, or (most probably) both, I realize:

Twelve hours ago, I had been studying biology in the library, pouring over a textbook chapter about membrane potential.

Ten hours earlier, I was on Williams Campus, packing up a sleeping bag and extra pairs of warm socks.

Eight hours before, I was halfway across Massachusetts, piled in a car with three other people, chattering about classes and how we got interested in protecting the environment.

Six hours earlier, I was hearing my first protest legal briefing and listening to Bill McKibben tell stories of his first arrests in the name of climate change.

Five hours ago, I was huddled in a church with crowds of other students, crammed on to benches with our laptop screens glowing, finishing up a history paper.

Two hours earlier, I felt the first pump of adrenaline as the first cop car pulls up, only to leave after warning us that they would be back at 2:30 a.m.

An hour and a half before this, I was meeting new people, talking with kids from our rival Amherst and comparing campus sustainability issues.

A solid hour and fifteen minutes ago, I fell asleep in the chilly night air.

Twenty minutes ago, I woke up.

Ten minutes ago, I stayed where I was, and broke the law for the first time for the sake of the environment. It felt good.

The next morning I wake up and drive back to Williams.  I break the news of my citation to my parents as gently as possible, and start organizing an on-campus sleep out for the next week.