I’ve made the need for environmental action a centerpiece of my campaign because we are at a crisis point. I am committed to taking every step possible to mitigate the impact of climate change on Boston residents. The negative health effects of climate change are well documented and are currently being felt in our city everyday. Look no further than the rise in child asthma, but also to increased heart and lung issues in people of all ages. We have to address these conditions directly but we also have to stop the source and take drastic action now to halt the damage to our planet before it’s too late.
Transportation is the number two cause of pollution in urban areas and I am committed to expanded bike lanes and improving public transportation across Boston. Traffic also has more immediate public health implications, in my district emergency services already struggle to reach those in need due to traffic congestion and residents struggle to find reliable or easy transportation to healthcare facilities. I want to address these issues as a councilor so that my constituents can access the care and services they deserve.
The city is a powerful broker with utilities, state regulators and the legislature, but has not used its clout to date to empower neighborhoods often frustrated by state policy or by utility opposition. This has had concrete consequences for low-income residents of Boston who have sought to advance solar projects that would further city climate goals and combat income inequality. To really support neighborhoods in driving sustainability efforts forward, Boston should advance inclusive energy policies that shift power from utilities or state regulators to community members who have been left out of the green economy. It is not enough to simply praise sustainability when the legislature and utility companies craft policies that exclude renters and low-income residents. Simultaneously, the city’s workforce development arm can promote diversity in training and hiring for clean energy industries, which employ thousands of Massachusetts residents but few people of color or residents of low-income communities.