Clean Energy TeAM

August 5, 2020 • Members of the Clean Energy Team share their memories of building support for Keene's Sustainability Resolution.

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Clean Energy Team
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The Clean Energy Team is a grassroots group that’s part of the Monadnock Progressive Alliance. The team worked to pass Keene’s Sustainability Resolution, which is a commitment for Keene to make a transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. 

 

You’ll hear from three members of the team about their motivations and memories of building support for the Sustainability Resolution. Here’s Pat Martin of Rindge, Carolyn Jones of Keene, and Suzanne Butcher of Keene.

 

Pat Martin

I’m a retired electrical engineer, and my interest is working with communities, trying to get a piece of the action every time there are movers and shakers doing things.

 

Carolyn Jones

I’m a nurse practitioner, retired now. I think it’s one of my biggest concerns, seeing a lot of people with lung issues and heart issues. And with patients, I think a lot of us were beginning to talk about it with them: the quality of the air and what we could do about it.

 

Suzanne Butcher

I was in the Foreign Service, and I worked on the Montreal Protocol on the ozone layer, but now that I’m retired, I’ve shifted focus to, “Okay, what can we do locally?” 

The Clean Energy Team is not just Keene, it’s the whole Monadnock Region.

 

Carolyn Jones

I joined it in July, and we got in touch with the Sierra Club about their Ready for 100 program. There were other places in New Hampshire that were working on the same thing. So we felt like we had people that we could check in with to see what’s working and what’s not working, and we could do the same for them. 

 

Pat Martin

When I heard about this Ready for 100, I thought to myself, “Oh, this is it. If Keene’s gonna do this, I want in on this.”

 

Carolyn Jones

Our first thing was to interview lots of people, including all the City Council members, the mayor, the city planners, the planning director, then people in the community, business people. We did a lot of interviews. So we got a lot of input before we even started.

 

Pat Martin

We did bring petitions around, standing in a booth, handing out postcards, and talk to people about what a great thing this was and why we should all get behind and support it.

Suzanne Butcher

We just wrote a letter saying, “We are a group of citizens. This is what we would like our city to do.” It’s taken up by the Council, the mayor assigns it to a committee. The committee then holds a hearing, then that committee votes on it and sends it back to the full Council. The Council then votes on it.

Carolyn Jones

We all walked over to the city council meeting together. The room was already filled.

 

Suzanne Butcher

Just one person after another after another speaking briefly about why this is important to them and why they think the City should do it. 

 

Pat Martin

It just flowed from one to the other. Everybody was prepared. Everybody was passionate, reasonable, well-spoken.

Carolyn Jones

I got some energy from other people speaking, and I know that they were shaking in their boots. Not everybody is a public speaker. For a lot of people to get up and do it, I think, is impressive.

 

Pat Martin

I was thrilled to talk about energy efficiency and how important that is from a social justice perspective and from how big a piece of the pie it actually is, and that we intend to put a lot of effort into figuring out how we can make it accessible.

 

Carolyn Jones

It was one of those meetings that went over time, and then they voted.

 

Suzanne Butcher

The full council except for one member all supported it.

Pat Martin

Now this isn’t fair because now I’m starting to tear up, you know? As you get older, it’s hard to be hopeful, right? And especially when you see the constant backsliding. So my emotions were pride and hope.

 

Carolyn Jones

I get emotional just thinking about it. It was really really impressive that we were able to bring this about. 

Suzanne Butcher

That’s my value of making a better world for the long term, not just having a good time today.

 

Pat Martin

You just have to happen in a few places, and then it catches fire. I know in my little town of Rindge, there isn’t enough manpower or enough opportunity to make a big Ready for 100 splash like there is in Keene. But eventually after it’s Keene and it’s Peterborough and it’s Harrisville and Jaffrey, I can imagine that it will be Rindge, too. 

 

Carolyn Jones

It just reinforces that if you just dare to do things that it can change.

To learn more about the Clean Energy Team, please visit CleanEnergyKeene.com.

City of Keene, New Hampshire

Community Development

Keene City Hall, 4th Floor

3 Washington Street

Keene, NH 03431

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Tel: 603-352-5440

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