Sue Chalifoux Zephir Endorsed by Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund today endorsed Sue Chalifoux Zephir of Leominster in the special election for the Worcester and Middlesex State Senate district, a credit to her commitment to the environment.

“We are proud to support Sue Chalifoux Zephir because she knows how to create jobs for the 21st century,” stated ELM Action Fund Executive Director Joe O’Brien. “Sue knows that in cities and towns across the state we need to build a clean energy economy that will power us into the future and create well-paying jobs that can’t be exported to other states and countries.”

“Sue Chalifoux Zephir also understands the importance of our state investing in clean energy, sustainable transportation, and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities,” said ELM Action Fund President Elizabeth Henry. “We need strong leaders like Sue in the State Senate who understand that we can have both a strong economy and a healthy environment.”

Sue Chalifoux Zephir is a lifelong resident of Leominster and is currently the Executive Director of Ginny’s Helping Hand, a nonprofit food pantry. Sue previously worked as a business and production manager in public television. Sue has a long record of civic involvement, serving as  board member of the Leominster Education Foundation, a trustee of the Leominster Public Library and as member of the Board of Directors of Our Father’s House in Fitchburg, MA. Sue earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Assumption College and a MBA from Simmons College.

For the past eight years Sue has served as a member of the Leominster City Council. In her tenure, she has been elected Council President and served as the Finance Committee Chair. During her time on the City Council, Sue has worked on a wide range of issues facing towns and cities within the region - from taking care of our seniors and veterans, to improving local economies, maintaining and protecting our green spaces and neighborhoods, and funding public education.

Sue is running in a special election on Tuesday, December 5th to fill the open Worcester and Middlesex State Senate seat that was previously held by Senator Jennifer Flanagan.  The district consists of the cities of Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster and the towns of Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, precincts 1 and 2, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Sterling, Townsend and Westminster.  To learn more about Sue and her campaign, visit her website at http://www.suechalifouxzephir.com

The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable, and works to build the political power of the environmental community. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories go to www.elmaction.org/campaigns.

ELM's Endorsed Candidates Make a Clean Sweep for Fall 2017!

Yesterday, 8 of the ELM Action Fund's endorsed candidates were on ballots across the state. We had staff, campaign fellows and dedicated volunteers on the ground knocking doors and making phone calls to get out the vote for our environmental champions. We are proud to say that our hard work paid off. All eight of our endorsed local and state candidates won and we helped to make a difference in these important races. After our endorsee Paul Feeney's October win in the special election for State Senate, that leaves us with a clean sweep for the Fall 2017 election season. We went 9 for 9.

  • Tom McGee, Mayor of Lynn
  • Yvonne Spicer, Mayor of Framingham
  • Paul Feeney, State Senate, Bristol & Norfolk
  • Nicole LaChapelle, Mayor of Easthampton
  • Andy Vargas, State Representative, 3rd Essex
  • Sarai Rivera, Worcester City Council
  • Joe Petty, Mayor of Worcester
  • Lydia Edwards, Boston City Council
  • John Barrett III, State Representative, 1st Berkshire

Our endorsed candidates for Mayor and City Council are part of our new campaign to elect a next generation who will lead on environmental issues at the local level. Yesterday's victories are just the beginning of an effort to mobilize environmental voters across the state to elect local officials who support progress on the environment.

Yesterday's election may be over, but we are not resting. We are now getting to work to help elect an environmental champion in the special election for State Senate in North Worcester County in early December. We are also gearing up for an exciting 2018 election cycle where we will continue to elect and defend environmental champions at every level.

John Barrett III Endorsed by ELM Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) proudly endorses John Barrett III for Massachusetts State Representative of the 1st Berkshire District because of his support for issues crucial to our state and its future as a leader in sustainability, job creation and alternative energy innovation.

“John Barrett understands the importance of our state investing in clean energy, sustainable transportation, and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities,” said ELM Action Fund President Elizabeth Henry. “We need strong leaders like John in the State House who understand that we can have both a strong economy and a healthy environment.”

Barrett previously served as the Mayor of North Adams for 22 years and his governing experience makes him well aware of the environmental and economic challenges facing his district and the importance of developing practical and forward-looking solutions.

Barrett helped develop the Mass MoCA contemporary art museum in North Adams from the vestiges of 19th century mill buildings and the Sprague Electric plant, the demise of which in 1983 created a devastating loss of jobs. The conversion of this former factory site into the vast, cutting edge contemporary art space has given the area a new mission and identity.

“John Barrett has demonstrated his dedication to promoting opportunities for work and growth in his native Berkshires in a way that has been respectful of its unique history and environment with the desire to keep the area as beautiful and vital as it is now for future generations,” said ELM Executive Director Joe O’Brien

Barrett has pledged to work to increase access to public transportation and fight to make sure that the Berkshires gets its fair share of revenue to fund its local transportation needs. He  supports funding of all forms of transportation that will reduce greenhouse gases, whether it be earmarked for public means or strategies that make biking and walking good alternatives. In the same vein, Barrett is committed to making sure that spending and legislative decisions will promote the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles.

He received BS and masters degrees in education/administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he serves on the board of trustees. To learn more about his campaign please visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JohnBarrettForStateRep/.

The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable, and works to build the political power of the environmental community. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories go to www.elmaction.org/campaigns.

Dr. Sirai Rivera Endorsed by Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund today endorsed Dr. Sarai Rivera for re-election to the Worcester City Council, a credit to her strong commitment to the environment justice, public health and sustainability.

“Dr. Sarai Rivera is committed to strong environmental policy for Worcester and the Commonwealth,” stated ELM Action Fund Executive Director Joe O’Brien. “As a local official Dr. Rivera has been a leader on issues of environmental health and justice, has secured more than $11 million in funding to improve urban parks, and she has championed the planting of trees and building of rain gardens in her district. She has also been a leader in efforts to create community gardens and orchards and has been leading efforts to pass a comprehensive urban agriculture ordinance.”

“Sarai Rivera understands the importance of communities investing in clean energy, improving access to public transportation, and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities,” said ELM Action Fund President Elizabeth Henry. “We need strong leaders like Sarai in cities and towns across the state, who are working now to create more sustainable communities.”

Dr. Rivera is a first generation Puerto Rican American, raised and educated in Worcester from kindergarten to college. She is a graduate of Worcester State University and earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Univ. of Connecticut School of Social Work and a Doctorate in Urban Ministries from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. She is the founding Director of the Shalom Neighborhood Center and currently works as a Clinical Therapist.  She also serves as Co-Senior Pastor of Christian Community Church. 

Dr. Rivera is a longtime community advocate and an active member of various boards and organizations. These efforts include: the Chandler Elementary Community School Stakeholders, the Worcester Clergy/Police Partnership, the Main South Promise Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Mayor’s Task Force on Immigrants and Refugees and Women Together. She was first elected to the Worcester City Council in 2011 and is currently chair the City Council's Public Health Committee. 

You can learn more about Sarai and her campaign at http://sarairivera.com/.
The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable, and works to build the political power of the environmental community. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories go to www.elmaction.org/campaigns.
 

Nicole LaChapelle Endorsed by Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund today endorsed Nicole M. LaChapelle, candidate for mayor in Easthampton, a credit to her strong commitment to the environment. 

“Nicole LaChapelle is committed to strong environmental policy for Easthampton and the Commonwealth,” stated ELM Action Fund Executive Director Joe O’Brien. “As a local official, LaChapelle was a strong advocate for environmentally conscious development and protective measures for conservation areas. She has also worked on environmental justice issues and believes that Easthampton should create a dedicated position in local government to support its environmental policies and initiatives."

“Nicole understands the importance of our state investing in clean energy, sustainable transportation and development, and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities,” said ELM Action Fund President Elizabeth Henry. “We need strong leaders like Nicole in cities and towns across the state, who understand that we can have both a strong economy and a healthy environment.”

Nicole moved to Easthampton in 1997. She earned a BA from Smith College and a law degree from Western New England School of Law. Nicole currently works as an attorney focused on civil rights advocacy, especially as it pertains to education and labor rights. Nicole also has professional experience in public education, with her work at The Center for School Crisis Intervention and Assessment, which serves students with a wide range of behavioral and physical disabilities. In 2016, she served as the Chief of Pupil Services for Holyoke Public Schools. 

Nicole has a long record of community service and organizing, including serving on the Easthampton Zoning Board of Appeals; serving as Secretary of the Easthampton Democratic City Committee and as Treasurer of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee; serving as co-chair of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee; and serving from 2009 to 2010 as the State Appointee for the Hampshire County Regional Housing Authority.

To learn more about Nicole, visit her website at www.lachapelleformayor.com.

The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable, and works to build the political power of the environmental community. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories visit www.elmaction.org/campaigns.

Yvonne Spicer Endorsed by Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund today endorsed education leader Yvonne Spicer for Mayor in Framingham, a credit to her strong commitment to the environment. 

“Yvonne Spicer is committed to strong environmental policies for Framingham,” stated ELM Action Fund Executive Director Joe O’Brien. “She supports environmentally-conscious growth and development, preserving open spaces, pollution clean-up, and public transportation improvement and investment for the Metro West area.”

“Yvonne Spicer also understands the importance of our state and local governments investing in clean energy, sustainable transportation, and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities,” said ELM Action Fund President Elizabeth Henry. “We need strong leaders like Yvonne in cities and towns across the state, who understand that we can have both a strong economy and a healthy environment.”

Yvonne Spicer has been active in community and civic life in Framingham since moving to the community in 1985. She started a teaching career in Framingham and rose to department chair before being appointed to and serving as Director of Career & Technical Education in Newton Public Schools. In 2008 Yvonne was asked to start a new division at the Museum of Science and became the Vice President for Advocacy and Educational Partnerships. In this role she developed partnerships with policy makers, municipalities, business leaders, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Yvonne holds a Doctorate of Education from UMASS Boston, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree by the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Governor Deval Patrick appointed her to the inaugural Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council, and she was reappointed by Governor Charlie Baker in 2017. She is an advisor to the National Governors Association, a member of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable and an Advisory Board Member of the MA State Treasurer’s Economic Empowerment Trust fund.


Yvonne is a Framingham Town Meeting Member representing precinct 6 and serves on the Ways and Means Committee. To learn more about Yvonne and her record of service to the community, please visit her website at www.yvonnespicerformayor.com.

The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable, and works to build the political power of the environmental community. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories go to www.elmaction.org/campaigns.
 

ELM Action Fund Endorses Lydia Edwards for Boston City Council

Lydia Edwards.jpg

The Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) today announced its endorsement of Lydia Edwards for Boston City Council because of her strong commitment to environmental justice and sustainability in a rapidly changing and expanding Boston.

“Lydia Edwards will be a much-needed dynamic addition to city government who will advocate for fair and sustainable growth. We are sure she will bring her energetic vigilance to the challenges that climate change and development pose to Boston,” said ELM Action Fund Executive Director Joe O’Brien

ELM has decided to support Edwards in this important race for Boston’s 1st District (which encompasses East Boston, North End and Charlestown) because of her commitment to the environmental issues and her belief that accelerating development should always consider the wellbeing of ordinary citizens while promoting and protecting the city’s unique and fragile environment.  The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 7th.

“Lydia Edwards has solid ideas for an environmentally smart future for Boston, “continued O’Brien.  “That includes enhancing public transportation by expanding ferry service all around the underutilized Boston Harbor to ease problems with traffic, parking and emissions,”

Boston’s vulnerability in the face of climate change is very much on Edward’s mind and she is a strong supporter of the Climate Ready Boston program and of engaging the brain power from our universities to develop solutions for rising sea levels and other climate related challenges.

 “She is ready to speak up for the rights of Bostonians for public space – whether it be parks or along the harbor – in the face of rapid development that often ignores provisions for public access,” said O’Brien. “We think she will be able to keep both developers and city authorities accountable when it comes to building and planning,” said O’Brien.

Edwards, who has two law degrees, successfully pushed for legislation enhancing protection of domestic workers, including immigrants, while working at the non-profit Greater Boston Legal Services. More recently she has been advocating for fair and affordable housing practices for both tenants and landlords (she is a landlord of small property herself) as deputy director of the Office of Housing Stability.

Raised by a military mother, Edwards and her twin sister grew up “around the world,” she says. She received a law degree from American University in Washington D.C. and a LLM in taxation from BU School of Law.  She served as a clerk for a Massachusetts Appeals Court justice and for the Massachusetts Superior Court.  Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, she lives in East Boston with her husband, an electrician and small business owner. To learn more about Lydia visit www.lydiaedwards.org.

Andy Vargas Endorsed by Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund

The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund today endorsed Democrat Andy Vargas of Haverhill in the special election primary for the 3rd Essex District, a credit to his commitment to the environment.

“We support Andy Vargas because he understands the importance of our state investing in clean energy, sustainable transportation, and parks to help address climate change, create jobs, and build healthier communities,” said ELM Action Fund President Elizabeth Henry.

“Andy Vargas understands that we can have both a healthy environment and a strong economy," stated ELM Action Fund Executive Director Joe O’Brien. “He knows that in cities and towns across the state we need to build a clean energy economy including wind turbines and solar arrays that will power us into the future."

Andy is running in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, October 10th in a special election to fill the seat of retiring State Representative Brian Dempsey. 

Andy Vargas was born in Cambridge and moved to Haverhill when he was just six years old.  Since an early age he has been active in his community, helping to lead sports and mentoring programs for Haverhill youth. After college Andy moved back to Haverhill and has been engaged in efforts to improve his community. In 2015, Andy was elected as an at-large member of the Haverhill City Council. His first term has been marked by strong advocacy for economic development, education, and financial transparency.

Andy and his wife Rikelma live in downtown Haverhill. He is the Senior Marketing Manager at Entrepreneurship for All. Learn more about Andy at www.andyforhaverhill.com/

The ELM Action Fund is a nonpartisan organization that helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable, and works to build the political power of the environmental community. To learn more about our work and our recent electoral victories go to www.elmaction.org/campaigns.