Voters Give Landslide Endorsement to Urgent Transition to a Secure, Green Economy
By Jill Stein
On Tuesday, voters in 11 Massachusetts House districts gave a resounding endorsement to a nonbinding public policy question calling for greatly accelerated efforts to create a secure green economy in the state. Overall voters approved the measure by better than a 4 to 1 ratio.
The Secure Green Future question calls upon legislators to phase out taxpayer subsidies for big energy-wasting enterprises and to provide instead incentives for local, sustainable businesses that are better suited to an era of limited and expensive oil. Support is being sought in particular for local small businesses and cooperatives in renewable energy, conservation and sustainable food production. The measure also calls for urgent action to achieve the state’s target for 80% reduction in greenhouse gases, moving the current target year of 2050 forward to 2020.
According to Secure Green Future spokesperson John Andrews, a push toward renewable energy would be the best economic stimulus package possible. “In the long run, oil prices will creep up and supply disruptions will become more frequent. There is no future in an economy that is addicted to oil. But when we bring renewable energy online, we spend our dollars creating jobs at home rather than sending them abroad. From now on, the healthiest economies are going to be green economies. The question is whether we can move quickly enough to stay ahead of the deteriorating situation – not to mention heading off the looming disasters caused by global warming. Time is short, and the faster we act the better.”
The public has now weighed in with a resounding YES! for a green mobilization. Now it’s time to act – for economic security, climate protection, and for our health. The potential health benefits alone (from reduced pollution, enhanced pedestrian and bike transit, and improved nutrition) would go a long way to pay for the investments in wind and solar energy.
The Secure Green Future question was inspired by Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute who has called for a World War II-level economic mobilization to address the threats posed by climate change. The Secure Green Future group intends to follow through on the ballot question by urging elected officials to take needed urgent action, and by collecting signatures on a statewide petition to the Legislature.
The combined vote across the state was 153,072 (81.4%) yes versus 39,920 (18.6%) no. The question appeared on the ballot in all or part of the following communities: Amherst, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Brookline, Cambridge, Fall River, Fitchburg, Granby, Hatfield, Hudson, Lexington, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Montgomery, Northampton, Southampton, Stow, Wakefield, Waltham, Westport, Westhampton, and Woburn. A list of results for each legislative district is attached below. Further information on the measure can be found at www.securegreenfuture.org.
Below is a list of the yes and no votes in the 11 House districts.
SECURE GREEN FUTURE QUESTION No Yes FRACTION YES (OF VOTES CAST) RATIO: YES/NO
8th Bristol District 3,559 9,216 0.721 2.59
1st Hampshire District 3,362 17,152 0.836 5.10
3rd Hampshire District 1,911 12,198 0.865 6.38
3rd Middlesex District 4,248 14,837 0.777 3.49
9th Middlesex District 3184 13,517 0.809 4.25
15th Middlesex District 3,344 14,683 0.815 4.39
23rd Middlesex District 3,454 17,498 0.835 5.07
24th Middlesex District 3,033 15,574 0.837 5.13
32nd Middlesex District 4,106 15,426 0.790 3.76
15th Norfolk District 1,760 14,234 0.890 8.09
3rd Worcester District 2,959 8,737 0.747 2.95
34,920 153,072 0.814 4.38