The Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund moves forcefully into the 2016 election cycle today with the announcement of Joe O’Brien as its new political director. O’Brien is the former mayor and city councilor for the City of Worcester. He has two decades of electoral management experience directing campaigns on the federal, state and local levels. He also worked as the district director for Congressman Jim McGovern and served the last three years as the congressman’s political and finance director.
“Joe O’Brien is a well-respected and experienced political leader. The ELM Action Fund is lucky to have someone with his stature and political savvy,” said George Bachrach, president of the ELM Action Fund.
The ELM Action Fund, a nonpartisan nonprofit, is the political arm of the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM). The ELM Action Fund helps pass laws that protect our environmental legacy, holds our elected officials accountable and works to build the political power of the environmental community. As evidence of its increased political presence, ELM Action Fund ran provocative ads calling out the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) and Big Utilities for their misleading and distorted claims about the true costs and benefits of renewable energy.
Mr. O’Brien will ensure the ELM Action Fund ramps up its aggressive 2016 political efforts to mobilize voters around the Commonwealth in support of its environmental agenda. This cycle,ELM Action Fund will target a handful of competitive legislative races and support candidates via a newly formed political action committee. It already played key roles in several successful special elections this year, including: Sen. Michael Brady (Brockton), Rep. Tom Walsh (Peabody), and a just released endorsement of Rep. Jay Livingstone for state Senate in Boston. It is now weighing an endorsement in the special election to succeed Sen. Bob Hedlund on the South Shore. As part of its endorsement, the ELM Action Fund invests financial and technical resources, with “boots on the ground,” online digital advertising and phone banks, to target environmental voters and dramatically increase the environmental vote.
“I’m excited to come on board at such a critical time for environmental issues in the Commonwealth. We’re at a crossroads and the work of ELM and ELM Action Fund are vital to our future,” said Political Director Joe O’Brien. “Protection of the environment is important to all of us, and we will promote and defend it in every way possible.”
Current and future endorsements of environmental champions is based on a nonpartisan review of legislative voting records for incumbents as well as candidate questionnaires. The ELM Legislative Scorecard is unique insofar as it measures both leadership and votes. A legislator who votes in support of the environment every time may receive only a 95 percent score, whereas acts of environmental leadership are required to achieve a 100 percent rating.
O’Brien added, “If you like rundown parks and pools, gas pipelines in your backyard and an addiction to the pollution of fossil fuels, then we aren’t the organization for you. But if you want a candidate who will protect clean water, air and parklands, if you want to create new industries and jobs by building offshore wind, solar fields and hydro power, we’ve got your back. We’ll work to win your elections."