Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Updated Bottle Bill Heads to November Ballot

Press Release 

Updated Bottle Bill Heads to November Ballot

Legislature misses deadline to act

Today, a large group gathered on the steps of the Secretary of State’s office to announce completion of an initiative petition signature drive to update the state’s bottle bill. Proponents delivered over 19,000 signatures Wednesday to Secretary Galvin’s office. Once the signatures are validated by Secretary Galvin, the measure is certified to appear before the voters on November 4. If passed, the ballot question would extend the current nickel deposit on soda and beer to other single serving containers like water, juices, and sports drinks.

“This is common sense policy that updates a tremendously effective law,” said Rep. Jon Hecht, (D-Watertown) the lead sponsor, along with Sen. Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), of the measure in the Legislature.

“The people of Massachusetts have spoken loud and clear, over a number of years, that they want less litter and more recycling; they want the Updated Bottle Bill. In the World Cup of legislation, our elected officials let this goal go right through their legs. We did our best to work through Beacon Hill, now it’s up to the voters, “said Janet Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG.

An update to the bottle bill has been pending in the state legislature for over 12 years; the original version passed in 1983, before the popularity of bottled water and tea. Although enough legislators support the update to make it law, it has never been brought to a vote in the House, despite passing the Senate during the last two legislative sessions. Opponents to the bill have largely been big business interests include bottlers, supermarkets.

Diverse groups across the state have gathered the needed signatures to put the measure before the voters -- over 130,000 signatures in September, nearly double the number needed, and more than the other proposed ballot measures. Signatures came from every one of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, and hundreds of volunteers participated. In May, of this year, supporters gathered 27,000 more signatures. Among the organizations collecting signatures were MASSPIRG, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the Milton Garden Club, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

Advocates are bracing for a tough ballot question campaign. Under state law, bottlers and supermarkets can pour unlimited corporate funds into opposing the ballot initiative.

“We’d rather see the bottlers and supermarkets do more to promote recycling, but if they decide to spend millions to defeat this recycling initiative, our volunteers are ready to get the word out to voters,” said Phil Sego of the Massachusetts Sierra Club.

Over 100 organizations, 209 cities and towns, the past two Republican and Democratic Governors, and 400 small businesses have endorsed updating the bottle bill.

“Most single serving beverages are consumed on the go, out of the reach of curbside programs. This explains why deposit soda is recycled at 80%, almost quadruple the 23% recycling rate of water bottles,” said Susan Collins, President of the Container Recycling Institute. “Updating the bottle bill is a smart idea.”

"Expanding the bottle bill will go a long way toward cleaning up our streets and parks, and will help keep the costs of municipal trash collection down by removing beverage containers from the waste stream," said Anne Borg, co-president, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts.

“Despite strong public support, big business will invest millions of dollars in this campaign to avoid responsibility for the trash they create,” said George Bachrach, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. “This will be an uphill ‘David v. Goliath’ fight -- Mass citizens v. Corporate America.”

If the bottle bill wins in November, Massachusetts would catch up with Maine, Connecticut, New York, Hawaii, California, and Oregon, all of which have added more types of containers to their deposit laws over the past several years.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Jason Lewis is a Leader Who Gets Results for the Environment

Press Release 

Leaders of Massachusetts’ environmental community endorse Jason Lewis for the 5th Middlesex senate seat

BOSTON – Jason Lewis’ record of accomplishment in the legislature and focus on local issues make him the right choice to replace Katherine Clark in the Massachusetts senate, leaders of the Commonwealth’s environmental community said today.

“In his five years as a state legislator, Jason Lewis has been a driven and effective advocate on environmental issues,” said Elizabeth Saunders, Massachusetts Director of Clean Water Action. “It’s very easy for elected officials to give lip service to the environment, but Jason has been much more than a reliable vote in the legislature, he has been a leader.”

Lewis worked closely with Sustainable Winchester, an organization that promotes renewable energy, to help the town earn designation as a Green Community.

“If you want a reliable measure of someone’s commitment to  the environment, look at what they have done at the local level,” said Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund Treasurer Ken Pruitt, a Winchester resident. “Jason’s work in Winchester should give everyone confidence that he will take his genuine commitment to environmental protection with him to the senate.”

Noting his work to hold manufacturers accountable for increasing recycling and decreasing the use of toxic chemicals, environmental leaders also credit Lewis with effective leadership statewide in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

“Jason has been a leader on efforts to help communities across the Commonwealth reduce the flow of household solid waste to our landfills, keep toxic chemicals out of water and air and to increase recycling,” said Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters Chair Chuck Anastas. “Jason is also helping to lead the charge to expand the Bottle Bill because he knows that it is the right thing to do.”

“Jason Lewis gets things done because he is propelled by the knowledge that climate change is a massive challenge facing us and that dramatic and sustained action is needed to prevent further global warming and to prepare for its effects,” said Phil Sego of the Massachusetts Sierra Club. “We know that Jason Lewis will not just support efforts to create green jobs in Massachusetts and reduce our carbon footprint, he will get results.”

Leading up to the Democratic primary on March 4, the environmental community will offer all the support it can to Lewis’ efforts to represent Malden, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield and Winchester in the Massachusetts senate.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More endorsements made in municipal races throughout the state

General Election 2013
More endorsements will be announced on a rolling basis as soon as they are made.

City/Town -  Office - Candidate
Boston -  City Council At-Large - Ayanna Pressley
Boston -  City Council At-Large - Michael Flaherty
Boston -  D2 - Suzanne Lee
Boston -  D7 - Tito Jackson
Boston -  D9 - Mark S Ciommo
Cambridge -  City Council - Craig Kelley
Cambridge -  City Council - Jefferson Smith
Cambridge -  City Council - Kristen von Hoffmann
Cambridge -  City Council - Minka VanBeuzekom
Cambridge -  City Council - Tim Toomey
Fitchburg -  Mayor - Lisa Wong
Somerville -  At-Large - Dennis M. Sullivan
Somerville -  At-Large - Sean Fitzgerald
Somerville -  At-Large - William A. White Jr.
Somerville -  W5 - Mark Niedergang
Somerville -  W6 - Rebekah L. Gewirtz
Somerville -  W7 - Katjana Ballantyne
Springfield -  City Council Ward 2 - Michael A. Fenton
Springfield -  City Council Ward 3 - Melvin A. Edwards
Watertown -  Councilor-at-large - Anthony Palomba
Watertown -  Councilor-at-large - Mark Sideris
Watertown -  Councilor-at-large - Susan Falkoff
Watertown -  District C Councilor - Vincent J Piccirilli

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sierra Club Endorses Mike Mangan for State Representative

News Release

The Massachusetts Sierra Club has endorsed Michael Mangan for State Representative in the 28th Middlesex District. The district comprises the entirety of Everett.

“To meet the district’s economic and transportation challenges, Everett needs capable leaders like Mike,” said Phillip Sego, MA Sierra Club Political Chair. “His knowledge, background, and focus on community make Mike Mangan a candidate the Sierra Club is proud to endorse.”

“I’m proud to be endorsed by a group so dedicated to establishing and protecting safe and healthy communities to live in,” said Michael Mangan. “I am deeply honored to receive their support and look forward to working with them in the future as a member of the State Legislature.”

“Any time we can recognize environmental leadership we do so,” said Sego. “Political leadership is as important as ever. With a changing economy and increasing stress on our transportation system and public services, and on our parks and open spaces, we need Mike’s leadership to help keep our environment, and our families, healthy and safe.”

The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and exploration of the earth’s natural environment. They are known for their high-profile national and local work to protect the environment. Their endorsement process includes in-depth research and careful analysis of a candidate’s environmental experience, work, and positions.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Sierra Club Endorses Ed Markey for US Senate

News Release

BOSTON - Today, the Sierra Club, the largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the country, endorsed Rep. Ed Markey in the United States Senate special election in Massachusetts.

Statement from Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club:

Throughout his 36 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ed Markey has been a staunch defender of the environment and champion for clean energy. Time and time again, he has led fights to clean up our air and water, curb the dangerous carbon pollution that is disrupting our climate, and put our nation on the path to an energy efficient economy powered by clean, safe energy. For those reasons, the Sierra Club enthusiastically endorses Ed Markey for U.S. Senate.

Statement from Dan Proctor, Chapter Chair of the Massachusetts Chapter Sierra Club:

Rep. Markey has been steadfast in his dedication to clean air, clean water and clean energy -- even when those issues lacked popular attention or political expediency. There are few elected officials we could endorse more heartily to join the U.S. Senate than Ed Markey.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sierra Club Statement on Potential Mass. US Senate Race

Congressman Markey's tireless work on the most pressing problems facing Massachusetts families is nothing short of historic. An outspoken leader in the fight to solve the climate crisis, he is an environmental champion who will stand up to those who threaten the air we breathe, the water we drink, and a safe and healthy future for our kids. Understandably, many Sierra Club members and supporters are excited about his candidacy, but at this time the Sierra Club's volunteer-driven endorsement process is moving at a pace appropriate to the state of the race, and a final decision will be made once there is an open seat and the election is officially scheduled.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paul Heroux endorsed by Sierra Club and MassAlliance

Press Release from the Paul Heroux Campaign

State Rep Candidate Paul Heroux has been endorsed by Sierra Club of Massachusetts and MassAlliance.

I am very pleased to be endorsed by Sierra Club, and I look forward to working with Sierra on advancing green jobs in Attleboro and Massachusetts and protecting the outdoors for all citizens to enjoy. And I am very pleased to be endorsed by MassAlliance and look forward to working with them fighting for the citizens in our community, said Heroux.

“Paul is committed to protecting the environment through education, advocacy and legislation,” said Phil Sego, the Sierra Club’s State Political Chair. “Paul recognizes a clean environment is important for all people who enjoy recreational activities outdoors as well as the wildlife that depend on a clean outdoors for their home. The Sierra Club applauds Paul for his willingness to seek alternative forms of energy while maintaining a commitment to decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. This will maximize making use of renewable sources of energy which will help usher Massachusetts into the 21st century and create good green jobs in the process.”

Georgia Hollister Isman of Mass Alliance stated "Paul Heroux will be a great advocate for the working families of Attleboro. We have chosen him for endorsement because we are confident that he is the strongest voice for education that gives every kid the best shot at success, for good local jobs that pay good wages, and for investing in vital local programs that work for our community."

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