Report from the Energy Breakout Session

First off, thanks to all who participated in the energy breakout session at the first CSfC community meeting on June 22. The discussion was respectful, informative, and thought-provoking.

It quickly became clear that smart energy policy is important to members for many reasons. In fact, one of the first topics was a proposed name change for the team from "Energy" to "Energy and Climate". Another focus of the discussion was how developing sustainable energy practices can and must lead to the creation of local jobs. Two members also explained how working to improve energy efficiency at a local level can strengthen bonds within neighborhoods and radically change the dynamics of all social movements.

Many ideas were brainstormed, with participants building on each others' suggestions. There were occasionally some points of disagreement, especially with respect to priorities, but the discussion remained courteous and was an excellent example of how we can come together for great effect even though we no longer have the single unifying goal most of us shared during the presidential campaign.

After the brainstorming, we voted on which issues to tackle. The top initiatives, in order of preference were:
  1. Organize neighborhood conservation/efficiency
  2. Raise awareness of how energy policy can benefit small business
  3. Advocate for the Stretch Energy Code, which mandates efficiency standards for new buildings
  4. Tie federal stimulus money to green jobs
In order to carry out these initiatives, we agreed on some action items:
  1. Connect the team via a Google Group and Google Docs, including a doc for the Stretch Energy Code
  2. Meet again
  3. Create a plan and presentation on the ideas above
  4. Hear suggestions on how we can organize
  5. Set up a meeting just to talk about neighborhoods as a base for organizing/advocacy
  6. Figure out how to reach decision makers - city council, mayor, governor, etc.
  7. Supply manpower and support to other groups that are experts on a particular issue
The CSfC Steering Committee is responsible for tracking these action items, but all members of the team will need to be involved in their completion. Everyone who attended the community meeting filled out a volunteer form so those who are interested will soon be invited to the CSFC Energy and Climate Google Group. Anyone who was not able to attend the meeting can join by filling out the Volunteer Sign Up form on the right side of the main page.

The breakout session was a great start. Now let's really kick it into high gear and drive the change we all want to see!


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Cambridge-Somerville for Change is an all-volunteer community group dedicated to harnessing the grassroots energy and spirit of change inspired by the Obama campaign. Our organizing work includes electoral and issue-based campaigns at the local, state, and national level. Our members have chosen to work on promoting economic fairness, comprehensive health care reform, creating policies that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide for fair and adequate access to public transportation, and promoting in-state tuition for immigrant youth.

This is an organization built by and for you, the community, and we look forward to your participation and feedback. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about getting involved, please email
or call us at
(617) 302-7324.

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