Mayoral Candidates Forum on the Environment and “West Roxbury Goes Solar” Update

By Rickie Harvey
As published on
July 2013

In May, West Roxbury Saves Energy was pleased to participate in a coalition of business leaders, environmental advocates, and clean energy innovators to prepare a briefing statement to inform the Boston mayoral candidates about the many opportunities for Boston’s leadership in energy, the environment, and innovation.

Led by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), some of the other groups participating in the initiative included Mass Audubon, the Conservation Law Foundation, Livable Streets, and Boston Climate Action Network.

We met separately with nine mayoral candidates to discuss a range of issues that affect our environment and the economy. As stated in the ELM newsletter, “the objective was to elevate these issues on the candidates’ agendas and to serve as a resource to the next administration.”

WRSE as a Boston community organization brought a local perspective to these briefings, and many of the issues broached affect our neighborhood. Some of the major categories presented to the candidates encompassed meeting the need for affordable and reliable transportation for all, ramping up recycling efforts, improving Boston neighborhoods’ climate preparedness and resilience, maximizing the benefits of Boston’s incomparable endowment of green parks and recreation areas, promoting urban agriculture, and increasing accountability and community engagement.

The next mayor of Boston will have much to do to build upon the current initiatives of Mayor Menino and his administration, and it is important that he or she be well informed on the crucial areas of focus and that environmental advocates such as WRSE continue to ask for progress.

To further this effort and continue to inform the candidates and the community about the environmental implications of a new administration, this collaborative is sponsoring a Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on July 9 which is open to the public with free, ticketed admission. Taking place at Suffolk University Law School at 120 Tremont Street in Boston, the forum will run from noon to 2 pm. For tickets, please email

Second, WRSE’s largest initiative to date, West Roxbury Goes Solar, concludes on July 15. With our solar partner, Next Step Living (NSL), we have for the past three months reached out to every home in West Roxbury whose roof is viable for solar panels in an effort to help these families save money as well as to help our environment.

Participation in this effort also helps our community, as each of the 125 households who have had a free solar assessment through this program have received a $50 gift card to Roche Bros. from NSL, and each solar installation contract signed garnered a donation of $250 by NSL to the community farm and education initiative in West Roxbury, New Brook Farm.

You are invited to our Solar Celebration on July 10 at West on Centre Restaurant (1732 Centre Street, West Roxbury) from 6 to 8 pm. Please join us for this presentation and party to mark the concluding days of our West Roxbury Goes Solar program and to hear more. If you already have solar panels, be sure to attend and help us celebrate, too!

With July 15 just around the corner, if you cannot attend the party please be sure to contact us soon to find out if solar panels make sense for your roof and to learn about this important program. Just click here to go to our Web site set up specially for this initiative, or you can call 617-532-5999. West Roxbury Goes Solar has been extremely successful to date, but we would still like to reach our goal of 150 solar assessments by July 15 and see more of the homes that can use solar panels come on board and start saving on their electricity bills right away. Many thanks to all of you who have participated in this great effort!