As a woman, environmentalist, and intern at Clean Water Action, waking up in Massachusetts on November 7th felt pretty good. All 17 candidates that Clean Water endorsed in Massachusetts won their races, meaning that strong advocates for the environment will be taking office all around the state.
Looking at some highlights from those races and others: We re-elected Senator Elizabeth Warren who can be counted on to advocate for a green economy not just for Massachusetts but the country as a whole. Ayanna Pressley will also be in Washington fighting on behalf of Massachusetts as the first black women to represent our state in congress. Pressley took the pledge to not take money from the fossil fuel industry along with two new state representatives Nika Elugardo from Jamaica Plain and Thomas Vitolo from Brookline. Over 50 women will now represent constituents across Massachusetts in a wide range of local and state offices, and many of them are following with the national trend of being the first women of color in their positions. Along with Ayanna Pressley, Rachel Rollins is the first woman of color elected as Suffolk County District Attorney and Tram Nguyen is the first Vietnamese-American to run for office in MA, let alone win. These wins and many more should be celebrated in the name of intersectional feminism.
Both statewide ballot questions that Clean Water endorsed (2* and 3**) passed, ensuring a stronger and safer community for everyone. The 19th Suffolk District voted yes on the “Global Warming Solutions Implementation Act” which will hopefully lead to local environmental protections. Three different towns all voted in favor of the community preservation act which, among other things, allocates more open spaces. Two other towns voted to approve the funding for the removal of toxic asbestos sealant in a septage treatment facility. These proactive measures are an encouraging sign that localities are taking it upon themselves to protect their surrounding environments.
The election results in Massachusetts show, for the most part, that people are awake. They care about the environmental crisis we are in and they are no longer accepting menial efforts from our elected officials in an attempt to placate their concerns.
* Ballot question two regards the creation of a citizen’s commission to advance an amendment to the United States Constitution to limit the influence of money in elections and establish that corporations do not have the same rights as human beings.
**Ballot question three regards keeping in place the current law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation.
Candidates endorsed by Clean Water:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Jason Lewis
Sen. Jamie Eldridge
Sen. Harriette Chandler
Sen. Paul Feeney
Sen. Julian Cyr
Rep. Lori Ehrlich
Rep. Sean Garballey
Rep. Natalie Higgins
Rep. Joan Meschino
Rep. Jim Hawkins
Rep. Marjorie Decker
Rep. Michelle DuBois