Sustainable Sharon Coalition monthly meeting
May 6, 2020, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Zoom Remote Meeting, https://zoom.us/j/3524688267
Agenda SSC meeting 4/1/20: https://sustainablesharon.org/category/meeting-agendas/
Minutes SSC meeting 3/4/20: https://sustainablesharon.org/category/meeting-minutes/
7:00 1. Welcome to our SSC monthly meeting (Cheryl Schnitzer)
- Vision statement: We inspire, educate, connect, and catalyze our community to protect the planet.
- Approve minutes from last meeting
7:05 2. Welcome candidate(s) for State Senate election: Jarred Rose and Senator Walter Timilty! (Please see prompt below.)
7:35 3. Virtual Sharon Green Day 2020 and acknowledging high school seniors
- SSC Facebook group: Eight Weeks of Challenges and Prizes (Thank you, Ellen, Bri, Kathy, Cherry, Lauren, Tommy, and to everyone who has posted!)
- This has been a huge success: 390 members before it started, 443 members four weeks later; Week 1 almost 50 posts; Week 2 “Sustainable Food” 91 comments; Week 3—trying to reach 300 households to sign up for Black Earth Compost, went from 61 households down to 28 households needed to sign up; Week 4 Photo Challenge.
- Currently, Week 5, May 3 – 9: Solar energy [Action requested, please] (Kathy)
- Sunday, Week 6, May 10 – 16: Litter clean-up (Aneeza, Lauren and Tommy)
- Sunday, Week 7, May 17 – 23: Gardening (Ellen)
- Sunday, Week 8, May 24 – 30: Super-challenge for grand prizes (two starter kits for Black Earth Compost ($150 value/each to keep or give a friend); #SSCsuperchallenge; post a video or narrative explaining how you’re proposing to help SSC and our town to forward environmental sustainability, e.g. commit to once a month using social media to try to reach 300+ households to sign up for Black Earth Compost or spreading the word about solar energy. (Cheryl)
- Honoring the recipient of the 2020 Lynn Wolbarst Sustainability Award: Congratulations to Silas Fyler! Please update the tab on the SSC website. (Sandra Widland)
- Sharon Green Day Art Contest open to high school students to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Two winners and one runner-up! (Please post video and PowerPoint slides to the SSC website.) (Thanks, Ricky and Nivedi)
- SSC Youth Committee: working with the town to plant trees (Aneeza Ahmad)
- “Celebrate a Sharon Senior” on Facebook? (Ellen)
- SSC Graduating Senior Scholarship? (Nivedi, form from Sandra?) VOTE for $250
7:50 4. SSC Zero Waste Committee: Next committee meeting? (Cherry)
- The Story of Plastic (thank you, Debbie!)
- The status of artificial turf in Sharon, https://sustainablesharon.org/artificial-turf/ (Debbie)
- Black Earth Compost raised beds for households and schools (Kathi Mirza)
- Library sewing grant? (Cherry and Debbie?)
8:00 5. SSC Energy committee (Kathy Farrell)
- HomeWorks Energy is currently conducting virtual home energy assessments (VHEAs) (Abby Kessler)
- Relay Power community solar and online energy survey for helping homeowner’s identify their best opportunities for transitioning to cleaner energy and lower energy costs. This is also an opportunity for SSC to earn $25 for every homeowner we recruit to take the survey, like we have been doing with home energy assessments and community solar subscriptions. Here’s a link to the draft survey: https://relaypower.com/hea-survey/. It takes about 5 minutes to fill out. You’ll need to photograph or scan your electricity bill and attach it to the survey at the end.
8:10 6. More activism? New committee? Link on SSC website?
- Extend the Legislative Session. Sierra Club and their allies are calling on legislators to extend the session so that policymakers have an opportunity to review and pass critical climate and transportation bills.
- Voting. Expand vote by mail laws. Voters deserve the right to safely participate in elections. We’re asking the state to allow rapid expansion of vote by mail (more info here) efforts for use by Sept 1 or earlier.
- Climate change. The Commonwealth only has ten years to significantly reduce our climate emissions to meet the goals set out in the 2018 UN IPCC report. While the Speaker has hinted at support for passing climate legislation sometime this year , plenty of uncertainty remains and the session is scheduled to end July 31, 2020. The legislature has a responsibility to extend the session this year to deal with urgent climate and environmental justice policies. Please ask your legislator to extend the session so we have time to pass these critical policies!
8:20 7. Any new business?
8:25 8. Future meetings
- Keep an eye out for SSC Facebook group posts and emails about sustainable gardening discussion, TBD
- Monthly meeting, Wed. June 3rd, 7:00 PM. Remote? Discussion about “sustainability ethics and the knowledge-, caring- and action-gaps”
8:30 9. Adjourn (Cheryl Schnitzer)
Prompt to be read by the SSC Vice President, Ellen Bordman:
Thank you for joining us! I’m going to read the following prompt for which you have six minutes to respond. Then, we will have about 10 minutes for questions from the audience.
Sustainable Sharon Coalition (SSC) sees great potential for more synergy among sustainability strategies by municipalities and the state senate position.
Some of many examples that illustrate sustainability initiatives in our town are Sharon Green Day, Town Meeting’s resolution to reach “net zero” by 2050, the decision to double the insulation in the new High School, LED street lights, Sharon’s success with improving its water use efficiency by 30%, our success in becoming a Mass DEP SMART trash town, the restrictions on plastic bags, solar opportunities, municipal electricity aggregation, and Green Communities.
With that in mind, if you are elected to the state senate, you will be in a position to introduce and help pass legislation that can help create a more sustainable state that will benefit all of Massachusetts’ residents. You can also create opportunities to strengthen environmental literacy and provide more resources to combat climate change throughout the Commonwealth. Environmental issues are not segmented by municipalities, so solutions should not be either. Some towns and cities in Massachusetts are making great strides, while others are not.
Considering the climate catastrophe, the crisis in the recycling world, toxic contamination in poorer communities, and our ailing democracy, what urgent actions will you take, and what specific practices will you endorse by way of introducing or supporting bills that move our state toward a more sustainable future? Is there a way to align individual master plans so that each municipality is not reinventing the wheel to address sustainability practices and foster green infrastructure?