The following is a sample letter to a government official. We encourage the use of this as a template; however, personalizing a letter to include your own concerns can be even more effective.
I’m writing to express my concern about the lack of climate change adaptation policy in East Boston. The science has conclusively proven that climate change is occurring and we have already started to feel its effects. And yet we are not preparing ourselves effectively.
Because of East Boston’s unique geography, the community is especially susceptible to sea level rise. Increases in water levels can be especially problematic during major storms, when storm surge drives water onto land. Already, towns near East Boston have suffered from flooding.
I’m writing in hopes that the Massachusetts state government will reconsider its climate change adaptation policy for East Boston. You could encourage property owners to prepare their homes for flooding. You could assist the MBTA in revising transportation plans, especially given that T stations on the blue line are vulnerable to floods. You could examine emergency evacuation routes. Currently, most routes end at Revere Beach, which might not be a safe location during a major flooding event. You could form a committee to assess the effects that climate change will have on East Boston and include citizens in adaptation planning. The public and the government should work together on this issue, as it will affect us all.
There are a wealth of things that could be done to better adapt Boston as a whole to climate change. However, not only is East Boston physically vulnerable, but the demographics of the neighborhood—many immigrants, a large proportion of linguistically isolated households, a lack of private transportation—make it especially sensitive to the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels are coming, but we have been given a few years to prepare. Now is the time. As an elected representative, it is your responsibility to your constituents to do something.
Contact the following people about climate justice. The government wants your engagement with this issue and wants to hear your voice and concerns. If you have any questions about preparing yourselves, your home, or your communities, these are the people to ask for information.
Representative Carlo P. Basile
Massachusetts State Senator Anthony Petruccelli
Additionally, the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing office has a wealth of information about adapting to the affects of climate change.
Neighborhood of Affordable Housing