State Rep candidate signs No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge: 'The Planet is Counting on Us'
On August 1, 2020, Charlene DiCalogero became the latest candidate to sign the Better Future Action No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. The Green-Rainbow Party candidate, who is the only alternative party candidate running in the 2020 MA legislative primaries, said, "We need a majority of candidates in our state to refuse all fossil fuel contributions, as I will."
News on the climate emergency is increasingly shocking: a massive ice shelf just collapsed unexpectedly in the Arctic, fires that raged over millions of acres, killing 3 billion animals (Australia), and "significant drought" and heat waves right here in MA. Meanwhile, the MA State Legislature has consistently failed to pass serious climate legislation to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and protect lives in the state.
"We need a State Rep with the courage, commitment and integrity to push through legislation to stem the worst of the climate emergency and create a Green economy with good jobs," said DiCalogero. "I am the candidate you can count on stand up for effective action. Because the planet is counting on us."
To learn more about Charlene DiCalogero's run for 12th Worcester State Rep, and to get involved, visit charleneisgreen.nationbuilder.com
Charlene signs municipal officials' letter to support 100% Renewable Energy bill in State House
Charlene DiCalogero was one of more than 150 office holders from around the state to sign a letter delivered to legislative leaders on July 2nd to move the 100% Renewable Energy Act, filed by Representative Marjorie Decker and Representative Sean Garballey, out of committee and up for a vote, according to the Fall River Reporter.
After the letter was delivered, DiCalogero noted, "As an activist and town official concerned about the effects of global warming on our communities, I know speeding up the conversion from fossil fuels to renewables is urgently needed." She is currently Chair of the Berlin Library Trustees, and the Green-Rainbow Party candidate for State Representative in the Clinton-area 12th Worcester district.
The bill will transition Massachusetts to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy for heating and transportation by 2045. A majority of legislators in both chambers have endorsed this bill or similar legislation filed in the Senate by Senator Jamie Eldridge (S.1958).
Charlene has advocated for years at the State House as a member of 350 Central Mass, who along with groups such as the MA Sierra Club and Environment Massachusetts, are organizing to get Massachusetts to take serious action on the climate emergency and climate justice.
"Whether or not this bill passes in 2020, it's clear we need independent state legislators committed to acting with urgency on the multiple crises of racism, COVID, economic injustice, and global warming. I warmly invite everyone concerned about any and all of these issues to join my campaign for a Green future for the 99% by volunteering, donating whatever you can, and letting friends in our towns know about my historic campaign."
Charlene DiCalogero is running for State Representative to represent the towns of Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, Lancaster, Northborough and Sterling. You can contact the campaign at https://charleneisgreen.nationbuilder.com/contact
Black Lives Matter in Sterling, Berlin
On June 13th, Charlene DiCalogero stood out with residents of the towns of Sterling and Berlin, as well as the large Worcester Common demonstration and march on June 6th, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement demanding justice for the police killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black people.
Afterward she declared, "I stand with Black and Brown people who are demanding that all people, including white people with the most power to be heard in this country and state, act to end the system of white supremacy that results in the maiming and murder of so many Black men, women and children in our communities."
As State Representative, Charlene will work to eliminate barriers to voting, redistrict for more fair representation, and publicly fund state, district and local campaigns, to end the stranglehold of wealthy interests on our elections and public policy.
"I want to see more women of all colors, and Black, Brown, Indigenous and New Americans running for and winning office and making policy. My agenda for accessible and transparent elections and government will make it easier for community leaders with great ideas and small wallets to make Massachusetts better for everyone.
"Who's in office matters. Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, a Democrat and not a person of color, hired and paid Crosscheck--the company known to have illegally purged hundreds of thousands of Black voters and voters with Spanish and Asian surnames from ballots in many states--to look for alleged fraudulent double voting in the state until at least 2017."(1)
As a Green-Rainbow Party state leader, Charlene has attended many public forums on issues of interest to underrepresented constituencies to learn and to encourage Black, Brown, Latinx, Indigenous, and other leaders to run for public office.
(1) Double voting is a phenomenon experts say is 'nonexistent.' See
Charlene signs Voters Deserve to Know pledge, vows to do more
On May 30th, 2020, Charlene DiCalogero signed the Voters Deserve to Know pledge. The organization Act on Mass, an organization created by a group of young political activists, created the pledge to make our state legislature, currently one of the most secretive in the nation, into a body that informs our residents--the people whom they're supposed to work for, and who pay their salaries--which legislators are voting for or against bills, whether in committee or in overall House or Senate recorded votes.
"If elected to the 12th Worcester State Rep seat, I will not only honor this pledge, I will push for fully transparent proceedings of the Massachusetts State Legislature," said DiCalogero, who is currently serving as the Chair of the Berlin Library Trustees.
She continued,"As a 350 Central Mass climate emergency activist and a member of MA Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL), I have seen dozens of bills that if passed could have helped ordinary people across the Commonwealth, be quietly and anonymously killed by the State House and Senate. Meanwhile, bad bills, such as the 2016 "Act to Clear Titles on Foreclosed Properties," which reduced homeowners' right to sue for illegal foreclosure from 20 years to 1 year, were forced through with a vote of questionable legality. MA voters want and deserve better."
Other democracy-related improvements the Green-Rainbow Party candidate would introduce to the legislature include:
- bills to make it easier to vote, e.g., Election Day registration, vote by mail;
- bills to get private money out of elections and government, e.g., equal public-only funding for candidates running for the same type of seat in elections so more low- and moderate-income people and Black, Brown and immigrant candidates can run, and rich individuals and corporate lobbyists can no longer hijack the policy process;
- bills to make it easier to run for office, e.g, lower the number of signatures candidates need to collect to get on district and state ballots; and
- a bill to end unlimited donations for ballot initiatives, and unlimited donations from any individuals, candidate committees or political committees, including the candidates themselves to their own campaigns.
350 Central Mass draws activists from towns and cities in Worcester County, including from the 12th Worcester district, working to stem the climate crisis and for climate and environmental justice through education, advocacy, and direct action. MAAPL is an anti-foreclosure coalition formed in the wake of the 2008 mortgage lending financial scandal that has deprived thousands of MA homeowners and renters of their homes.
See who's endorsing Charlene for State Representative!
From Charlene DiCalogero's State Senate campaign in the 2017 Special Election
See Charlene's kickoff video!
This video is an overview of what I stand for as a candidate for State Senator: 11 views and values I hold for our 11 towns and cities, seen here in a video shot by supporter Jay Cross with help from Josiah Cross.
Charlene DiCalogero interviewed on WPKZ drive-time radio broadcast
On Tuesday, November 28th, Green-Rainbow candidate Charlene DiCalogero was the first State Senate candidate to be interviewed on "Morning Kommute with Travis and Sherman," the morning drive-time show on 105.3FM/AM1280 WPKZ. The segment was also streamed live at WPKZ.net . The candidate addressed questions on education, the state's criminal justice reform bill, and her principled low-donations clean money campaign.
Charlene congratulates Fitchburg Pride on Gateway Cities Award
Charlene DiCalogero, as part of her commitment to support all the towns and cities of the Worcester and Middlesex district, attended the 5th annual Gateway Cities Innovation Institute Summit and Awards, presented by MassInc in Lawrence, MA on November 15th. Fitchburg Pride was one of 8 organizations to win the Gateway Cities Innovation Award. She congratulated Marc Dohan, one of the Board members of the nonprofit, whose mission is to provide "support, training, publicity, networking opportunities, and guidance for existing and potential businesses within the city of Fitchburg, MA."
During the summit, focused on "Building Vibrant Places," she met numerous leaders in the fields of community development, including the keynote speaker Mark Davy, an internationally recognized thought-leader in the fields of creative placemaking and cultural branding. "I believe our cities and towns, whether Gateway Cities, or other types of communities, can benefit from the ideas and examples discussed at this event," Charlene observed.
Other speakers included the newly re-elected Mayor of Lawrence, Dan Rivera, former Mayor of Fitchburg Lisa Wong, and Arthur Jemison, Director of Housing and Revitalization, City of Detroit.
The cities of Fitchburg and Leominster are both designated Gateway Cities.
Charlene DiCalogero campaign collects signatures from all 11 Worcester & Middlesex municipalities to get on the ballot
Volunteers, led by State Senate candidate Charlene DiCalogero, fanned out to collect signatures from voters registered in the 11 towns and cities of the north central MA district of Worcester & Middlesex to get her on the ballot this December 5th.
"It was great to meet voters of all ages and backgrounds at events like the Johnny Appleseed Festival in Leominster, the Sterling Community Theater, and at Farmers Markets throughout the area, who support a real choice for voters this fall," said the candidate. "I'm proud to say that we got our required signatures certified and papers filed days ahead of the state deadline." While collecting signatures, she listened to voters' questions and concerns about issues such as education, elder care, and the need for more different kinds of activities and businesses in some of our towns.
She looks forward to meeting many more residents in the coming weeks before the December election for the seat vacated by Jen Flanagan in August.
From Charlene's run for State Representative, 2016:
Charlene signs Clean Money for Climate Pledge sponsored by Better Future Action--and goes one better
It wasn't hard for Charlene DiCalogero to sign the Clean Money for Climate Pledge sponsored by Better Future Action (BFA). BFA asks MA candidates to "pledge not to take campaign contributions from climate polluters so that the public can be confident that my votes on energy policy are in the best interests of my constituents."
The pledge specifies that candidates promise to refuse $200 or more from officers, lobbyists or employees from BP, Chevron, Eversource, Exxon Mobil, Global Partners, Global Petroleum, Kinder Morgan, National Grid, Shell and Spectra Energy.
Charlene, as a Green-Rainbow Party of MA candidate, responded enthusiastically, writing on September 1st,
I would be pleased to sign onto your pledge--as a Green-Rainbow Party candidate, I have already pledged to refuse campaign contributions from any corporate lobbyist, or officer of any corporation that lobbies, in any amount.
And she goes one better: Charlene has capped the amount any individual may give to her campaign to $100/year, instead of accepting up to the state's legal limit on candidate contributions of $1,000. She said, "Ben Franklin, born in Massachusetts, is on the $100 bill. I think he'd be appalled at the stranglehold wealthy donors and corporations now have on the democracy he helped found.
"I decided Ben would be my guiding spirit, the symbol of my focus on listening to and serving the regular folks in my district, most of whom have been losing out over the last 35 years.
Charlene is one of 67 candidates to sign the pledge as of October 8, 2016. As of that date, the incumbent, Harold Naughton, Jr, had not appeared on the list.
"Green, and in Massachusetts, Green-Rainbow candidates are the most likely to act quickly and meaningfully to stop global warming," the State Rep candidate stated. "We are outside the two corporate party machines, run by and for corporations like the 10 listed above."
"Those parties will continue to accept untold millions from the fossil fuel industry, no matter what an individual Democrat or Republican candidate pledges. If you want real change now, going Green is the way to go."
On the campaign trail: Going Green with Charlene
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette June 8, 2016, editorial, And Winners Are listed Charlene DiCalogero as one of the few candidates in Central Mass running a competitive race this election year. Under 40% of state representative districts in our region offer the voters a choice in either the September primary or the November general election in 2016.
We appreciate the paper's support for more candidates to run irrespective of party affiliation, for as the editors conclude,
"... we all lose without a debate and a choice."
Keeping communities together: defending people against foreclosure
In support of the heroic efforts of the MA Alliance Against Predatory Lending to pass legislation protecting homeowners from the explosion of foreclosures in MA, many of which are likely illegal, Charlene had two letters to the editor published in July:
"Three towns in the State House district where I live are particularly hard hit: Clinton, Lancaster and Sterling, with double the rate of foreclosures compared to the state as a whole, and likely to rise."
"There are currently 212 homes in some stage of foreclosure in Fitchburg alone."
Charlene called State Senator Jen Flanagan, and also asked municipal leaders to send letters in support of allowing municipalities to require pre-foreclosure mediation. As with much important legislation this session, this bill, which could have kept owners and their renters in their homes, helped stabilize local economies, and keep wealth from being lifted wholesale out-of-state, failed to pass.
As State Representative, Charlene DiCalogero will champion legislation that defends ordinary people against the big banks that created the foreclosure crisis to begin with, and continue to hurt communities while lining their pockets with ill-gotten gains.
Saving our Climate and Environment, and Advocating for Good Jobs
On July 18th, Charlene rallied with a loud, joyful and determined crowd for the conclusion of the People Over Pipelines March at the State House. While some improved provisions for renewable energy were passed in this session’s energy bill, the climate needs more advocates in the House—Charlene will help pass a better bill next session, if you help get her there!
At the Attorney General’s Listening Session on Energy and the Environment at Mass Audubon Broadmeadow Brook in Worcester on June 13th, with over 60 in attendance, Charlene was applauded for speaking out in favor of repairing gas pipeline leaks, and against the pipeline tax and any new pipeline construction.
Charlene spoke at the Department of Public Utilities hearing on March 10th, opposing new gas pipelines and Governor Baker’s bid to impose a ratepayers’ tax on utility bills so Eversource and National Grid can profit no matter what happens while we pay. As a Berlin Town Meeting member, she conveyed Berlin’s vote to uphold Article 97, which protects conservation lands from being built on.
She reminded the DPU that the Attorney General’s report concluded that new gas pipelines are unneeded, especially if we repair leaks of existing pipelines and enhance energy efficiency of our homes. Both of these actions would also create more good jobs in the state.
Present at the hearing were groups such as 350.org, Mothers Out Front, and many others, so many that two overflow rooms had to be opened for attendees.