ECA Massachusetts Newsletter

June 2020
Elders Climate Action has been working with the Environmental Voter Project since the 2018 election to mobilize environmental voters. Elders Promote the Vote has contacted more than 275,000 voters in 12 key states since the beginning of 2020, and we will continue to contact voters right up through Election Day.
Now, with the COVID-19 crisis, we face a very great challenge for this nation to hold safe and fair 2020 elections. This is why ECA and the Elders Action Network have initiated the Elders Stand for Fair Elections campaign.

TAKE ACTION WITH US NOW! Scroll down to the article ECA Goes All-In for Safe and Fair Elections (just below Save the Date and Breaking News), for more details about the campaign and how you can:
  • Participate in letter writing to Congress
  • Join us at a national town hall on safe and fair elections
  • Volunteer with Elders Promote the Vote
In This Issue
  • Save the Date!
  • Breaking News!
  • ECA Goes All-In for Safe and Fair Elections
  • MA Climate Legislation Update
  • ECA MA Updates
Elders Climate Action on the web

Elders Climate Action Massachusetts is a chapter of the national ECA. We are a movement of elders committed to making our voices heard... to change our nation's policies while there is still time to avoid catastrophic changes in the Earth's climate.
Visit the ECA Massachusetts website, event calendar, and Facebook page to learn more about our chapter's activities and climate news. 
Join ECA Massachusetts and Stay Connected! 

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and for more active participation, sign up to receive Action Alerts and meeting announcements.Fill out our subscription form.

TODAY! Thursday, June 4, 7 – 8:00 PM EDT, Zoom
          The Road Map to Carbon Neutral for Massachusetts, webinar sponsored by MetroWest Climate Solutions and Mass Audubon. Rep. Joan Meschino, lead sponsor of the 2050 Roadmap bill (H.3983) (our top legislative priority), will discuss the bill and answer questions. Register at: 

Tuesday, June 9, 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM EDT, Zoom

          ECA Massachusetts Chapter Meeting, Working Together on Climate Change...with lessons on change from the pandemic. What we can do as individuals and as a group to address climate change and motivate others. This session will be based on ECA's materials for talking to groups, led by Rick Lent and our Presentation Team. 
Click on the Zoom link,; or to join by phone, dial 646-876-9923 and enter Meeting ID 735 454 252. 

Wednesday, June 10 
          3:00 PM EDT, Zoom 
          National Town Hall on Safe and Fair Elections, sponsored by Elders Stand for Fair Elections. Register at:

         7 - 8:30 PM EDT, Zoom
         Climate Conversations: Regenerative Land Management, sponsored by ECA Massachusetts and the Chelmsford Public Library. Presentation by Dr. Adam Sacks, executive director of Biodiversity For A Livable Climate, a group dedicated to "restoring ecosystems to reverse global warming." Register at:

Thursday, June 11, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT, Zoom

         Climate Conversations: Climate Perspective, sponsored by ECA Massachusetts and the Chelmsford Public Library. Discussion led by Bern Kosicki, retired physicist and co-founder of Chelmsford Climate Action Team, about making sense out of climate change - how we got here, where we are going and what we can do about it. Register at:

Mondays, 4:00 – 5:30 PM EDT, Zoom
          Deep Dialogue. Our thought-provoking Deep Dialogue conversation series continues (most Mondays, except the week of an ECA Massachusetts chapter meeting). Please join us! Topics to be announced. 

To stay current, check the ECA Massachusetts website event calendar and Facebook page. To get all our Action Alerts and meeting announcements, email Dawn Edell,, and ask her to move you from the “Newsletter Subscriber only” list and put you on our ECA Massachusetts “Activist” list.

Court Vacates Weymouth Compressor Air Quality Permit


Good news in the continuing fight against the Weymouth natural gas compressor station! On June 3, a federal court vacated a critical permit for the facility being built in Weymouth, telling the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection to re-do its analysis. It’s not clear yet whether the court decision will stop construction, but the facility can’t operate without the air quality permit, giving opponents more room to fight to stop it from ever operating. Read more at the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) website:

ECA Goes All-In for Safe and Fair Elections
By Paul Dryfoos, ECA Massachusetts Leadership Team

Elders Climate Action has been working with the Environmental Voter Project since the 2018 election to mobilize environmental voters. Elders Promote the Vote has contacted more than 275,000 voters in 12 key states since the beginning of 2020, and we will continue to contact voters right up through Election Day.
Now, with the COVID-19 crisis, we face a very great challenge for this nation to hold a safe and fair 2020 elections. What we saw in the April 7, 2020 Wisconsin election debacle was that many polling places were shuttered, and voters were not provided a reasonable opportunity to vote by mail. Many voters were unable to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Some poll workers subsequently succumbed to the Coronavirus, proving that voting in person can be dangerous, especially to older voters and poll workers.

We have awakened to the reality that we must ensure and protect the rights of all voters to cast a ballot freely, securely, and safely. Election experts tell us that conducting safe and fair elections in November 2020 will require both national and state reforms of election law and procedure, and massive investment in capacity development starting right now.

This is why ECA and the Elders Action Network decided to focus our members’ and the public’s attention on the importance of this challenge, with the Elders Stand for Fair Elections campaign. The purpose is very simple:
Make sure that every eligible voter gets to cast a vote safely and have that vote duly counted. We believe that an election that reflects the will of the people is the prerequisite to climate action and the cornerstone of a successful democracy. We can’t take a safe and fair 2020 election for granted - we need to fight for it. 

That's exactly what we are doing as we mobilize our national network to:
  • Work in key states to make sure public officials understand the overwhelming public support for COVID-safe and fair 2020 elections.
  • Advocate for immediate federal funding to enable states to cover the cost of safe elections.
  • Form action teams in selected states to address specific problems at the state and local levels -- where most election laws are made and administered.
Here are several things you can do right now to support safe and fair elections:
Participate in our letter-writing campaign to Congress to demand immediate federal funding to states so that they have adequate resources to administer safe and fair elections in 2020. We support the $3.6 billion that was included in the House-passed Heroes Act. Please take a moment to let your U.S. senators and representatives know how strongly you feel about doing everything they can to ensure a safe and fair 2020 Election. It’s important for the Massachusetts delegation to get this message so they will prioritize this funding in any emerging conference committee. We’ve made it easy for you – just click HERE.
Join us at a national town hall on safe and fair elections. Wednesday, June 10 at 3 pm Eastern Time. Register here:
Volunteer with Elders Promote the Vote to help older environmental voters cope with changing election procedures and obtain their mail-in ballots. We urge you to sign up for both text and phone banking. We will train you and host weekly phone and text banks. 
Sign up here:
We have an abiding belief that the best path to the kinds of environmental and social policies that we know are necessary is a safe, fair and inclusive 2020 election. That’s why we’re working so hard to influence this in a positive direction. We hope you will join us for this crucial fight! 


Update on Massachusetts Climate Legislation
ECA Massachusetts Legislative Team
The state legislature resumed law making last month with agreement on a method to debate and vote remotely.  The COVID-19 pandemic has set back the legislative schedule, and there is a good chance the current session will be extended. Nonetheless, work has continued on our top legislative priority, the 2050 Roadmap bill (H.3983).  Last week, a coalition of environmental and climate groups (see below) signed a joint letter in support of the Roadmap bill which was delivered to House leadership, committee heads, and the bill’s sponsors. 

In addition, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has begun a social media campaign in support of the bill, and members of ECA Massachusetts had a tutorial on “tweeting” to enable targeted advocacy.
The House Speaker continues to support passage of climate legislation this session, and the 2050 Roadmap bill is the furthest along.  With House members focused on the pandemic and the pressing need to pass a budget, active advocacy for climate legislation has been delayed. But soon there will be an opportunity to push the bill to the finish line!

ECA Massachusetts Chapter Activities and Updates
May ECA Massachusetts Chapter Meeting
On May 12, our regular second-Tuesday-of-the-month ECA Mass Chapter Meeting gathered 31 people via Zoom to hear our featured guest presenter Casey Bowers, Legislative Director for the Environmental League of Massachusetts, who spoke on ELM's focus now to protect the state’s “green budget” from being slashed as a result of the state’s revenue shortfall. 
Casey reminded us that Massachusetts is in the Clean Energy States Alliance, but that we are behind New York and California in moving to cleaner energy. Casey reported that with the COVID-19 emergency, the Commonwealth probably will extend budget considerations until July 1. She expects funding for Mass Health and other public health concerns to grow, probably cutting funds in the rest of the budget by about 15% because Mass is required to have a balanced budget. Currently only about .06% of the state budget goes to environmental concerns, but connecting COVID-19 and climate concerns could influence that. ELM will focus on protecting line items, and although public health funding is a priority now, voters are ranking climate change and energy issues higher, and more budget is anticipated to expand resilience and mitigation efforts, with funding from real estate transfer taxes.
ELM and its allies are active in the Statehouse, meeting with groups like the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Department of Environmental Protection, and supporting the 2050 Roadmap Bill and the FUTURE Act for safer renewable energy, which also addresses  the problems with our natural gas system. Casey does not expect Gov. Baker to support Speaker DeLeo’s “Greenworks Bill” which passed the House last July, due to the bond cap exemption, and because he has a similar bill in the works, S. 10, “Providing for climate change adaptation infrastructure investments”, but said that in her view,  it would be ideal to pass both or combine them.
Meetings like this are a special time to hear from our allies like Casey with local expertise and  inside views so we can work with more focus and effectiveness. Please join us, especially while we are meeting on Zoom and you can join in from wherever you are, so you don’t miss valuable briefings like this one.                                     .  

ECA Massachusetts Website

If you haven't checked out our website lately, please do! It's a work in progress, but we're adding news and content you won't want to miss. For example,click on the featured post on the home page to read Arnie Epstein's new research report, The Role of Biomass and Bioenergy in Achieving Net Zero Emissions.
ECA Massachusetts Presentation and Education Team

Want to learn more about climate change? We are testing a new three-session, interactive class on Zoom. Write Tony Lee at for more information. 

ECA Massachusetts Facebook Page
As you know, ECA Massachusetts is part of the national Elders Stand for Fair Elections project. Our Facebook page has been featuring posts that highlight this campaign, the importance of the 2020 elections, how mail-in voting can help elders be safe, and the need to safeguard our votes from folks who would suppress turnout. 
If you have stories that you think would add to this thrust, please FB Messenger them to us! 

ECA Massachusetts Leadership Team
If you have questions or want to share ideas, please reach out to a member of the Leadership Team. Although we all multi-task, we’ve noted some of our interests/responsibilities below with our contact information:
Maiyim Baron, – Membership, Chapter meetings
Paul Dryfoos, – ECA national liaison, Elders Promote the Vote and Elders Stand for Free Elections
Arnie Epstein, – Research and Legislative teams, Website
Seth Evans, – Action Planning team
Rick Lent, – Presentation and Education team
Diane Rapaport, – Newsletter editor, Website
Larry Rosenberg, – Research team
Michael Sales, – Social Media team

Our email is:

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Elders Climate Action Mass Chapter · 51 Taylor Rd · Stow, MA 01775 · USA

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