Mother’s Day is this Sunday, a day that we celebrate mothers for all they do. Some people see maternal instincts as being fierce and protective. That phrase sums up the work of the Mothers Out Front movement perfectly. This is a group that is passionate about the home we all share – Earth. For this story, I did a quick search for quotes on Mother’s Day and came across this one:
“The world needs our mothers.” —Liya Kebede
This quote was taken up literally by the Mothers Out Front. The group was started here in Massachusetts in 2013 by two mothers, Kelsey Wirth and Vanessa Rule, with the goal of empowering grassroots organizations powered by moms across the country. Their mission is fighting the climate crisis to secure a livable future for their children. Mothers Out Front has 43 local chapters with 38,000+ members.
The chapter here in Bedford started in 2015. Corinne Doud provided the history and accomplishments of the Bedford Chapter:
Bedford Mothers Out Front History
The Bedford chapter has 42 active voting members (contributing and active) with 466 Bedford residents receiving emails.
- The Bedford chapter started in January 2015, when Carlough Faulkner-Carroll realized that she wasn’t alone in her concern about the dangers of climate change for her children and invited others to join her in starting a Bedford chapter of Mothers Out Front. When Carlough invited Renu Bostwick to participate, she had been feeling despair for her children’s future, seeing that no amount of personal change in reducing fossil fuel use was having an impact; rather, fossil fuel use among neighbors and friends instead seemed to be increasing alarmingly. A small group of mothers and others banded together to make talking about climate change mainstream and to try to get systemic change started locally.
Accomplishments of the past eight years:
- Have steadily grown the supporters’ base from 25 in 2015 to 466 in 2023.
- 2015: Advocated for CCA (Community Choice Aggregation) renewable energy to Town Manager
- 2016: Publicized open gas leaks in Bedford and tagged gas leaks with lawn signs, engaging residents who live near leaks left open by the gas company, some that had been leaking for decades (Bedford Citizen: tagging gas leaks).
- 2017: Supported the Energy Task Force’s request for CCA to the Bedford Select Board.
- 2017: Created a petitioner’s article and a massive get-out-the-vote campaign to get the Net Zero Plan for buildings (Bedford Citizen: Net Zero Plan funding).
- 2018: Worked with Revise Energy to encourage Home Energy Assessments (Bedford Citizen: Bedford Saves Energy Campaign).
- 2018-2022: Increased Black Earth curbside composting pickup from 50 residents to more than 300 residents.
- 2020-2022: Worked with the Town to get funding for an Energy and Sustainability Manager into the budget (Bedford Citizen: Hire a Sustainability Director).
- 2022: Advocated for the new CCA electricity contract to provide 100 percent renewables as the default for all residents. The Select Board chose +20 percent renewables as default.
- 2023: Did a get-out-the-vote campaign just among supporters and helped get a recent zoning change to allow two-family construction passed at the Annual Town Meeting in March (Bedford Citizen: Vote for Two-Family Zoning).
- Ongoing – Mothers Out Front host public events such as birthday parties for gas leaks, public forum on Project Drawdown, family-friendly Pumpkin Smash, Mother’s Day Tea, Earth Day Composting Fair, displays at Bedford Day, and Craft & Plant Fair.
In April, Bedford Mothers Out Front voted in the following three 2023 Bedford campaigns:
- Expanding Housing Options in Bedford: the Carlisle Road LIP.
- Following Massachusetts Mothers Out Front’s lead on denser housing as good for the climate (Mothers Out Front MA Dense Housing Position Statement), Bedford Mothers Out Front is advocating for moving forward on the Carlisle Road Local Initiative Project.
- Town Opt-In to the Specialized Energy Code.
- The Specialized Energy Code is a new building code that goes a bit beyond the town’s current code, the Stretch Code, to transition away from fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid costly retrofits in the future.
- Opting-in to the Specialized Energy Code is a next step in implementing the Net Zero Plan for buildings that Bedford Mothers Out Front was instrumental in getting adopted for the Town in 2017-2019.
- Stop Super-Emitter Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Any Airport.
- Plans for a massive hangar build-out for private jets at Massport’s Hanscom Field are underway. If carried out, Mothers Out Front believe these plans would not only triple the jet capacity at Hanscom, but will undermine municipal, state, and national climate achievements at a time when climate scientists are urging us to accelerate our goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Bedford Mothers Out Front is partnering with the Bedford League of Women Voters and Bedford Third Act, and working in coalition with Save Our Heritage which is working in broader coalition with many other groups.
The Bedford Chapter of Mothers Out Front is holding a meeting on the plans for the expansion at Hanscom.
- Want to learn more? RSVP to get the zoom link for the Bedford Chapter Meeting on Tuesday, May 23 with speaker Neil Rasmussen, president of Save Our Heritage, who will share information on why it is important to stop private jet expansion at Hanscom or any airport: May 23, 2023 | 7 to 8 p.m. | RSVP HERE
Bedford Mothers Out Front: [email protected]
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, including Mother Earth!