Road to the Green New Deal Tour

The Sunrise Movement has been extraordinary at mobilizing youth and adults to support the Green New Deal. That includes getting Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey to launch the Green New Deal resolution, which now has 103 co-sponsors. Today, I attended the Boston tour stop of the “Green New Deal tour,” during which sunrise will convene gatherings around the country to continue to build energy, gain new allies and raise some money. The speaker list was impressive, including Senator Markey, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, the Reverend Mariama White-Hammond and Boston City Council President Michelle Wu. But I couldn’t help taking this picture of Varshini Prakash, the young co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement.

The Great Climate Race

Today, I attended a reception hosted by EDF. It included a talk from an EDF scientist and an EDF economist on the “The Great Climate Race,” with a long and interesting Q&A afterward. Today, I also spent three hours in a planning meeting for the Somerville Sustainability Tour, which is in ten days, so there’s not much time left.

Corporate Giving in the 21st Century

Today, I hosted a fireside chat for Conscious Capitalism Boston. The topic was “Corporate Giving in the 21st Century” and my guests were from YouGiveGoods, which has an interesting platform to facilitate in-kind donations to charitable organizations, and Fidelity Investments, who spoke about their different levels of community engagement. Trends are changing how corporations are approaching their community engagement, we found, but the age-old problem of measuring outcomes is still uncracked.

Runnin’

Nearly 50,000 Americans per year are dying from opioid overdoses. That’s a big number that highlights the need to educate drug users, support those with addiction, prevent drug use disorders, and advocate for better treatment and legislation. But numbers sometimes aren’t as persuasive as stories that bring the opioid epidemic close to home. Today, I went to a screening of Runnin’ — a film about a circle of friends in Somerville who struggled with addiction until it took most of their lives. The screening was hosted by the City of Somerville and it was followed by a panel discussion on prevention, treatment and other responses.

Climate catch-up

After three weeks traveling, with only a few days back in Boston, I’ve been falling behind on a number of fronts. Today, I caught up on dozens of emails related to my climate activities, for Climate Reality Project, Climate Coalition of Somerville and other organizations. And I wrote up a few reports and listened to a webinar for those organizations as well.

Somerville’s community preservation priorities

Under the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA), cities and towns can raise a dedicated fund for open space, preservation of historic resources and affordable housing. Somerville overwhelmingly approved adoption in 2012. And the city periodically reviews its prioritization of the three pillars under the act. Today, I took part in a survey to voice my priorities to the City’s Community Preservation Committee.

Venice in Peril

I’m visiting Venice today, a remarkable city built on an infrastructure of canals and walking paths instead of roads. It’s also a city uniquely exposed to climate change. Indeed, last year’s historic floods were a real eye opener.

Today, I made a donation to Venice in Peril. The organization works to restore Venetian monuments, buildings and works of art. It isn’t tied to climate change linked flooding; it’s been at its mission for 40 years, long before the effects of climate change began to be clearly documented in Venice. But the encroachment of the sea has made the organization’s great work all the more poignant.