During his service in office, Bill has consistently worked hard to promote a safe and healthy environment with an emphasis on sustainability. Bill supported the polystyrene ban and the City’s adoption of single stream recycling to increase recycling in the City. Bill supports the proposed ordinance to ban plastic bag bans in the City of Somerville. Back in 2002, he supported Somerville Climate Action and voted for the creation of the Commission on Energy Use and Climate Change as an advisory body to the City of Somerville. Since its formation, Somerville Climate Action has been fighting global warming by helping Somerville residents, businesses, and the municipality to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It promotes energy-conservation, energy-efficiency and the adoption of renewable sources of power through education, advocacy, and coalition building. The Commission on Energy Use studied the City’s reliance on fossil fuels and subsequently made a number of recommendations which have been adopted by the City in its Environmental Strategic Plan. These include the following items which Bill supported:
- Energy Performance Contract—The City entered into a contract with Honeywell by which Honeywell guaranteed the reduction of the City’s use of energy by 20% (thereby reducing utility bills) in municipal buildings through a series of energy savings projects.
- Use of renewable energy –In this year’s budget, the City agreed to purchase some of its electricity from a renewable source.
- The Fire Department is purchasing hybrid cars and all DPW vehicles are now using biodiesel fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse emissions.
Bill also has fought for public transportation in Somerville to reduce emissions in our City. That is why Bill has urged the City to sue the State if the Green Line is delayed any further. The Green Line Extension is owed to the City as a result of impact of automobile emissions on City residents. Somerville residents breathe in more commuter-generated emissions per capita than any other city in the state and a study has shown that Somerville’s death rates due to lung cancer and coronary heart disease are higher than state average, even though the rate of smoking in Somerville is low. From 1989 – 2003, Somerville had almost 300 more lung cancer and heart attack deaths than would be expected given statewide rates.
Bill has received the endorsement of the Sierra Club for his reelection in 2013 and received it in 2011 as well. Bill thanks the Sierra Club for its support.