In June, many of us were anxiously waiting for the Massachusetts Senate and House to come to an agreement on the state’s Climate Bill. The clock was ticking and time was running out. Things were stalling because the House and Senate couldn’t agree, so a conference committee was called to help the process along. The House Speaker and Senate President each chose three members to serve on the committee to hash out the details and come up with compromises. And our very own Quincy Representative Tackey Chan was on this committee.
Normally, QCAN sticks to very local issues, letting the bigger climate groups tackle statewide issues. However, Mothers Out Front approached QCAN about getting a meeting with Rep. Chan, knowing he would be more likely to listen to his constituents. So we reached out to Rep. Chan and organized a meeting on June 24 between him, QCAN, and other statewide climate groups: Mothers Out Front, 350 Mass Action, Massachusetts Climate Action Network, the Massachusetts Sierra Club, and Climate XChange.
The meeting went well and was well-attended. The statewide groups gave Rep. Chan a thorough presentation about The Burning Question Campaign. Basically, they wanted the final legislation to have wording that would stop gas companies from going through with their plan to use new, dangerous and polluting gasses, all while claiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
QCAN supported their work, but there were other pieces of the legislation that we were hoping wouldn’t be compromised out of the final bill. QCAN members used this opportunity to voice our thoughts on what should be prioritized in the legislation.
Rep. Chan listened, although he said legislative rules prevented him from speaking about the committee process. We left the meeting feeling cautiously optimistic — and for good reason: The final climate bill passed, and most of what we hoped would be included was there! It felt like a victory.
Working with other groups – combining like-minded folks with a wide-range of expertise and know-how – proved to be a winning strategy. We look forward to more coalition-building in the future.
– Gina Favata, QCAN board member