I believe that climate change and fossil fuel dependency are the greatest environmental challenges Massachusetts faces today. Not only does climate change threaten to destroy our environment, but it threatens the wellness of the members of our Commonwealth. Rather than continue to fund Big Oil and Big Coal, as State Representative I will support green initiatives to build more sustainable and environmentally conscientious communities. I have previously conducted environmental health policy research at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at UMass Lowell. My work has given me the tools to guide our Commonwealth towards environmental sustainability while building up a clean energy infrastructure, providing jobs for our communities. I understand the severity of climate change and know that our work to care for our environment will not only ensure a future for our children, but for generations to come.
100% Renewable Energy
I support transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050. As a public health professional with experience in environmental research, I recognize the strong link between a low carbon economy and the health and wellness of Massachusetts residents. I believe that a transition to 100% renewables is critical for us to remain ethically and morally tied to the future, resilient against climate change, and for our state to remain competitive in emerging markets.
Reducing Waste and Pollution
We often talk about waste as a societal problem with individual solutions. And while it’s true that we must all take on responsibility for reducing waste, our State Legislature can and should do more to ensure we are protecting our communities from corporations that pump waste in our rivers, landfills, and air, and from manufacturers who create non-reusable, toxic, and non-compostable products. These are far greater contributors to our waste and pollution crisis than the average buyer of to-go coffee. That is why I believe it is critical that we hold manufacturers and corporations accountable for the waste they produce in our communities and support initiatives to increase their responsibility over the waste that is produced.
I also support community initiatives to reduce waste and pollution, including a state-wide ban on plastic bags and increased investments in municipal composting. We must also implement solid waste management strategies that minimize harm on human and environmental health. This means restoring the moratorium on incineration which without such action will put our communities’ health at risk.
Having studied environmental racism at Mt. Holyoke College, I know all too well that pollution and climate change impact low-income communities and communities of color at disproportionate rates. This is why I support initiatives like removing the current cap on solar, which most negatively impacts low-income families who want to move to renewable energy. As State Representative, I would also support increased funding for the Low-Income Weatherization Program, that specifically works with communities that can be disproportionately impacted by climate change and severe weather events, while also helping residents save on their utility bills.
Reducing Fossil Fuels
I believe that Massachusetts residents should not be forced to subsidize pipelines and fracking that not only destroys our natural environment, but negatively impacts our health and our children’s future. As a State Representative, I will fight to prevent future expansion of gas pipelines and put forward legislation that divests our state from fossil fuels. I will also advocate for putting a price on carbon, and investing in our public transit and overall transportation infrastructure, so that residents are spending less times stuck in traffic, something that takes away from overall happiness and environmental health.
Clean energy initiatives have already led to the creation of over 100,000 jobs in Massachusetts. I believe that Massachusetts should continue to be a leader in sustainability and environmental justice, while also ensuring the economic opportunities created from these efforts are inclusive and accessible to all residents. As State Representative, I will collaborate with experts, activists, and residents to generate and advocate for opportunities that provide green jobs.