Three to four hundred people turned out in a Mayor’s "Walk the Talk Rally" to confront Mayor Walsh and the Conference of Mayors meeting in downtown Boston this past Friday, challenging them to deal seriously with climate change. Demands included offering renewable energy to Boston households (a program called Community Choice Energy) and, of course squashing the Back Bay pipeline that has been described on this site before. We chanted during the few blocks' walk from Copley Square to the site of the mayors' conference.
The overall purpose was to appeal to Mayor Walsh to accelerate the transition of Boston away from an economy based on fossil fuels toward a new economy that creates green jobs, promotes sustainable development, reduces health risks, shifts our communities towards a more equitable power grid, and elevates renewable systems of energy generation and use. Reportedly, our rally and the wall display shown in the photo at the top of this article were noticed by the mayors and commented on.
Rally participants called for prompt action to:
- Implement Community Choice Energy (CCE) immediately and to the accelerate development and use of renewable energy.
- Address barriers to access and equity in clean energy.
- Stop all expansion of fossil-fuel infrastructure, including fracked gas that is hazardous to health. Gas is not a clean or a "bridge fuel."
- Champion construction of net-zero-carbon buildings and retrofitting of existing buildings. Given the tremendous growth in the Boston area, this is an urgent necessity for sustainability.
- Direct the Boston Retirement Board to divest from fossil-fuel stocks.
The organizers have an appointment this week to present this petition to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff. The letter provides details on the five action points.
Rally organizers, members of Boston Clean Energy Coalition, included:
- 350 Mass - Boston Note
- Back Bay Green
- Boston Climate Action Network
- Clean Water Action
- Environment Massachusetts
- Home Energy Efficiency Team
- MA Climate Action Network, Mothers Out Front, Boston
- Resist the Pipeline
- Sierra Club of Massachusetts
- Toxics Action Center
- West Roxbury Saves Energy
Members of the Jewish Climate Action Network also marched, and Jacqueline Royce was an organizer. 350 Massachusetts and Conservation Law Foundation provided important additional staff and resources.
Although racial diversity was low in the crowd, it was well represented among the speakers chosen.
By Andy Oram and Jacqueline Royce
If we were marching near Boston Common, we'd need to get a waiver from height restrictions.