Jobs, Justice, Climate: Huge Rally on 12/12!

350RALLYBLUEBOTTOMlocalprintflat72_(1).jpegUnited Nations delegates have been negotiating about climate change for more than 20 years, and this December, they'll meet again in Paris for yet another round of talks. There's reason to be hopeful, but we already know that even if the delegates finally reach an agreement, it won't be strong enough to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. 

No matter what happens in Paris, we know what we need: real climate solutions that create secure union jobs and strengthen community power and resiliency. And to get there, we need to build an unstoppable grassroots movement that can unite organized labor, immigrant rights, racial justice and climate justice groups. 

It's up to us to lead the way -- and we're starting right here in New England with a massive rally on December 12, the day after the Paris talks end!
What: JobsJustice and Climate: Rally to Defend New England’s Future
When: Saturday, Dec 12, 1-3 pm
Where: Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common, Boston
We’ll lift up the voices of New England's organized labor, immigrant rights, racial justice, and climate justice groups as we call for jobsjustice and climate action together. Join us as we build connections between movements and stand together as one! RSVP here. 
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President Obama Rejects Keystone XL!

WE_WON_MEME_2.jpgIt's official: President Obama just rejected Keystone XL. 

To the countless 350 Mass members who marched, rallied, took long bus trips to DC, and stood vigil in the winter cold: thank you. 

This is OUR victory, and it shows the growing strength and power of our movement. When the campaign against Keystone XL started, many people said that the pipeline was a done deal. Now, it's officially dead. 

Over the coming months, we will build on this victory as we fight to stop new gas pipelines and other proposed fossil fuel infrastructure projects across New England and beyond. Spectra, Kinder Morgan, and other fossil fuel companies should be getting very nervous right now: Keystone XL is one of the first fossil fuel projects to be stopped by our movement, but it will not be the last. 

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Carbon Pricing Hearing on October 27!

unnamed_(22).jpgMassachusetts has the chance to make history by becoming the first state in the nation to put a price on carbon. The world's leading economists agree that the single best way to tackle climate change is by adopting a carbon price, which forces big polluters to pay for the carbon emissions that they put into the atmosphere. By adopting this ground-breaking policy, we can blaze a trail forward for other states and countries to follow and show our nation and our world what true climate leadership looks like.

On Tuesday, October 27the Massachusetts Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee is holding a hearing on a bill that would put a price on carbon. We need to pack the room and show that the people of Massachusetts are eager for visionary leadership on climate!

What: Legislative Hearing on Carbon Pricing
When: Tue, October 27, 12:30pm – 3pm
Where: Massachusetts State House, Room B1, 24 Beacon St, Boston
RSVP here. (Or RSVP on Facebook here!)

If you can, please write a few brief paragraphs of testimony about why you support carbon pricing and strong action on climate and send it to Andrew Gordon,andrew@betterfutureproject.org, before Monday, October 26. We'll all deliver our testimony to the committee chairs together before the hearing begins! If you can't make it in person, you can go ahead and submit testimony anyway -- we'll deliver it on your behalf. You can see sample talking points and sample testimony here.

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Hundreds of People Pack the State House for Energy Hearing

unnamed_(2).pngOn September 29, hundreds of people rallied on the State House steps and then filled Gardner Auditorium for a critical hearing on energy policy. The turn-out at the hearing and the rally was noticed by press and politicians -- thank you to everyone who was there! The hearing went incredibly long; if you didn't get a chance to speak, you can submit your testimony by sending it to Andrew Gordon, andrew@betterfutureproject.org. Sample testimony is here!

Lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would affect solar, wind, gas pipelines, and almost every other component of Massachusetts energy policy. As the hearing made clear, there's lots of excitement in the legislature about solar and offshore wind -- but also plenty of support for new gas pipelines. We'll keep working with the Mass Power Forward coalition to call for legislation that promotes clean energy instead of new fossil fuel infrastructure. Stay tuned for updates! Interested in getting more involved? Contact Marlon Washington, marlon@betterfutureproject.org.

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Gov. Baker Moves Forward with Gas Tariff

unnamed_(3).pngThe Baker administration is starting to move forward with a "gas tariff", a new policy that would add a charge to consumers' electricity bills to pay for new gas pipelines. It's outrageous -- Massachusetts residents and businesses should not be forced to pay for dangerous and unnecessary new gas pipelines that will primarily benefit out-of-state fossil fuel companies.

The 350 Mass ReNEWable team is working to figure out the best way to keep pressure on Governor Baker and stop the gas tariff from being implemented. Stay tuned! Interested in getting more involved? Contact Marlon Washington, marlon@betterfutureproject.org.

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Sept. 29 Could Determine the Future of Energy in Massachusetts

speak_truth_to_power_5.jpgOur state legislators are about to make a series of monumental decisions about energy policy -- the kind of decisions that come only once every few decades. Legislators are considering new legislation to support solar and wind, they're debating new transmission lines and gas pipelines, and they're preparing to spend billions of dollars replacing aging energy infrastructure. 

On September 29, lawmakers are holding a crucial hearing about Massachusetts energy policy, including solar, offshore wind, hydropower, and new gas pipelines. 

This hearing covers a much, much bigger array of topics than normal hearings, and we're working with our allies in the Mass Power Forward coalition to make sure we pack the room. The choices that legislators make after September 29 will determine where we get our energy for many years to come. The stakes have never been higher: we need you there to speak truth to power.

WHAT: Legislative Hearing on Solar, Wind, Hydro and Gas
WHEN: Tue, September 29, 12pm – 5pm 
We're joining the rest of the Mass Power Forward coalition for a rally at noon outside the State House. The hearing itself starts at 1 pm in Gardner Auditorium. Note that you don't have to stay the whole time! 
WHERE: Gardner Auditorium, MA State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston 
RSVP here. 
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Massachusetts Lost Half a Billion Dollars on Fossil Fuel Investments Last Year

trillium_meme_2.jpgHuge news! Earlier today, Trillium Asset Management released a new report showing that the Massachusetts pension fund lost more than $500 million on fossil fuel investments between June 2014 and June 2015.

This is a big deal! For years, financial experts like former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and former SEC Commissioner Bevis Longstreth have been saying that fossil fuels are a bad investment. The Massachusetts pension board ignored those warnings -- and a result, they lost hundreds of millions of dollars that could have gone to Massachusetts retirees.

Several of the state’s major public sector unions have joined us in calling on Massachusetts to divest from fossil fuels. The Boston Teachers Union, which represents 10,000 teachers and support staff, endorsed divestment just a few days ago, joining SEIU 509, SEIU 888, and the Massachusetts Nurses Association! Thousands of hard-working teachers, nurses, first responders, service workers, and public servants who pay into the pension fund have joined the campaign for divestment because they’re worried about the threat of climate change -- and about the risks that fossil fuels pose to their pensions.

Fossil fuels are wrecking the planet, and they’re wrecking our pension fund, too. It’s time to #DivestMA!

To see the 350 Mass / Better Future Project press release about the report, click here!

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Pope Francis Is Coming to the U.S.!

unnamed2.pngIn June, Pope Francis released a landmark encyclical, "Laudato Si", calling for immediate action on climate change to protect the earth and the world's most vulnerable people. Now, Pope Francis is coming to the U.S.! On September 24, Pope Francis will address Congress on climate change. Interfaith organizations are planning a march and rally on the National Mall right after the Pope's address to Congress. If you're planning to go, we encourage you to carpool with others from 350 Mass! You can find a ride, or let others know that you have spots in your car, by using our rideshare board.

The Ignatian Solidarity Network, a national organization that connects Jesuit and Catholic institutions around social justice issues, is also helping to organize house parties all over the country for people to watch the Pope's address to Congress together (either live-streamed or after the address is over). There are several watch parties already in the works in Massachusetts -- you can see the list here.

 If there's no watch party in your area, and you're interested in organizing one, the Ignatian Solidarity Network has put together some great resources.  And, of course, feel free to reach out if you need help organizing something or reaching out to people in your area!

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We're Hiring a Campus Organizer

unnamed_(38).jpgBetter Future Project is hiring a Campus Organizer to continue our 3+ years of work supporting student organizing! The Campus Organizer will play a crucial role in helping students lead ground-breaking campaigns for climate justice on college campuses. This role will focus primarily, but not necessarily exclusively, on fossil fuel divestment. Interested? Check out the job description and apply here! 

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10 Years Since Hurricane Katrina

ten_years_updated_time.jpgOn August 29, it will be 10 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast. A decade later, the hurricane remains a symbol why we work to confront the climate crisis: as the world warms, super-storms like Katrina will become all too common.

Katrina is also a reminder of the complex ways in which climate change overlaps with other forms of injustice. It’s no accident that those most impacted by Katrina were poor families of color. The criminalization of Black and Latino citizens, the displacement of poor communities by gentrification, and neglect by elected officials and government institutions all contributed to the pain, fear and trauma of the storm. In the ten years since, continued discrimination and systemic racism have made it hard for communities to recover. Reflecting on Katrina reminds us that fighting for climate justice means fighting for an economic and political system that offers dignity, security and freedom to all.

On August 29, we'll commemorate the 10 years that have passed since Hurricane Katrina with an event that will include video profiles documenting climate change in the Gulf South, a panel with climate and environmental justice leaders from organizations like Neighbor to Neighbor and Alternatives for Community and Environment, and a reception. This is a moment to reflect, discuss, and deepen our commitment to justice. Join us!

For more details and to RSVP: http://www.betterfutureproject.org/commemorating_hurricane_katrina

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