Boston City Council At-Large candidates express unanimous support for addressing climate change during environmental forum [VIDEO]

Seven Boston City Council At-Large candidates unanimously supported taking action to address climate change during a forum held on Wednesday, October 2.

The forum, hosted by the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) Action Fund and sponsored by community organizations and nonprofits including The Trustees of Reservations, featured: Annissa Essaibi-George (i), Erin Murphy, Michael Flaherty (i), Michelle Wu (i), David Halbert, Julia Mejia, and Alejandra St. Guillen. All candidates were invited to participate, ELM noted, with seven out of eight present.

During the discussion, each candidate was given a chance to offer a two-minute response to questions selected by the organizers and presented by a panel of Boston residents. The first question, from Northeastern University student Julia Hostetter, explored the candidates’ support for climate justice proposals and specific plans to advance the policies. Noting the recent Youth Climate Strike, Hostetter asked, “will you stand with us to support these ambitious proposals for climate justice?”

For the second question, Brighton resident Justin Brown from 350 Massachusetts pointed out that local air pollution is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our area, and pressed the candidates for transportation solutions.

“How will you ensure transportation is affordable, equitable and accessible for all residents?” Brown asked.

Next, Fatima Ali-Salaam from the Greater Mattapan Neighborhood Council presented residents’ concerns about adequate park department funding, maintenance and safety, including equal access to parks, and the role they play in addressing flooding due to climate change, asking candidates to outline their priorities for open space and natural systems.

The final question came from Gabriela Cartagena, representing GreenRoots, who asked the candidates to explain their proposals for addressing resilience and development through the lens of environmental equity.

Voters will be headed to the polls in Boston November 5, 2019 to vote for the next City Council, with the top four candidates becoming At-Large Councilors and representing the City for a two-year term.

“Tonight’s event has been organized to inform the public about the views of all of Boston’s At-Large City Council candidates, and we intend to cover a wide range of topics, related to climate, energy, transportation, and the environment,” said ELM President Elizabeth Henry in welcoming the audience to the forum and setting the stage for discussion. “We invited all candidates to participate, and the sponsors of tonight’s event are nonprofit organizations that are presenting this forum only to educate the public.”

Watch the forum, and hear the responses from each of the candidates, here:


Editor’s note: (i) designates incumbents