Sustainable Arlington - Aug 26th, 2020

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Supporting Local Pollinators. Peggy MacLeod of Western Mass. Pollinator Networks talks about work her group has been doing to support pollinators, mostly in Northampton and Western Mass. The goal is to create more habitats for pollinators, thereby reducing their decline. They've gotten several pollinator-friendly resolutions passed by town meetings. They're interested in promoting biodiversity and developing pollinator habitats. See

Pollinator Pathways is a project that's trying to connect green spaces with flowering plants. Northampton started one in 2018. In New York and Southwest Connecticut, around 95 towns are working on developing pollinator pathways.

Massachusetts has approximately 350 native bee species. Different species prefer different plants, so that plants and bees tend to co-evolve.

Endorsement of Select Board's Black Lives Matter Resolution. Brucie Moulton says that climate, the environment, and racism are all intertwined. Our future efforts should be guided by resolutions like these. Envision Arlington adopted a similar statement.

Unanimous support for endorsing the Select Board's resolution.

Len Diggins says that beyond racial inequality, income inequality is a huge issue. We need to focus on both -- meet people's basic needs so they're able to participate in local government.

Amos Meeks is interested in a broader discussion about housing, zoning, and equity.

Carl Wagner says that Arlington is facing real challenges to affordable housing. Big developers are working with the state house to pass a Housing Choice bill, and governor Baker will probably sign it.

Scott says that housing has been a main vector for institutionalized racism. Our housing is a reflection of that, and we should have a conversation about it.

Clean Heat for Arlington. The attorney general found that Brookline's Clean Heat bylaw was pre-empted by state law. However, the Attorney General agreed with the policy position, and asked MA's DPU to develop a plan for getting the state off of that. It's DPU docket number 20--80.

Town Survey. We discuss answers submitted to the environment/sustainability questions from this year's town survey. 87% of respondents believe that climate change will impact them.

Town alerts are a common source of information.

One question was "Do you have someone to turn to in the event of an emergency?". The answer varied a lot, according to the number of years someone had lived in town.

Announcements. Gina Sonder talks about a 100 shoes demonstration that's happening this Saturday. The goal is to convince our state leaders to declare a climate emergency.