State Rep. Peake Calls for Climate Change Fight at JFK Presidents’ Day Brunch

Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman Gus Bickford addressing attendees at the Harwich Democratic Town Committee at the annual JFK Presidents’ Day Brunch Monday.

HARWICH – Cape Cod Democrats gathered Monday for the 20th Annual JFK Presidents’ Day Brunch in Harwich hosted by the Harwich Democratic Town Committee.

Provincetown State Representative Sarah Peake delivered the keynote address, focusing on climate change.

She said just as America was able to put a man on the moon in ten years at the urging of President John F. Kennedy, the nation needs a similar commitment in fighting climate change.

Peake said it was a big challenge and some people thought Kennedy was crazy. But in July 1969, it happened as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon.

Peake said the threat of climate change is an equally large challenge.

“We see it hear on Cape Cod. We are losing about a foot and a half each of the back beach that stretches from Chatham up to Provincetown every year,” Peake said.

Peake said the changes can also be seen locally in fisheries management due to warming waters.

“We are now managing species that are present in Cape Cod and New England waters that you never used to find north of Long Island or north of New Jersey,” she said.

Black sea bass was given as an example. Peake also mentioned how lobsters are no longer found off Long Island Sound, Buzzards Bay or Rhode Island Sound.

Peake said the region’s vibrant aquaculture and shellfishing industry is being threatened by ocean acidification.

She said the region has been lucky to avoid major weather events in recent years.

“We have been spinning the roulette wheel and we have been fortunate,” she said. “Our fortune has been other parts of the country’s misfortune, but so far we haven’t had a big hit here on Cape Cod.”

To support the fight against climate change, Peake urged her fellow Democrats to join Senator Ed Markey and get to zero carbon emissions within a decade.

“Not by 2050. Not by 2035, but in a decade,” Peake said.

She said the impacts of climate change are accelerating faster than we, or scientists, ever anticipated.

“The faster it accelerates the faster it will continue to accelerate,” Peake said.

Peake said it can absolutely be done.

“It requires a new way of thinking. It will also require dedication, investment and focus just as the race to the moon,” she said. “

“We need to think bigger than just taxing a person’s carbon footprint. We need more than just a patchwork.”

Peake urged full support of the Green New Deal proposed by progressive Democrats in Washington D.C. and support of 20 different environmental bills filed on Beacon Hill in Boston.

She said it’s time to think about zero emission trams, major investment in solar, and continued investment in wind energy.

“This is absolutely doable, but it requires creativity, focus and dedication,” she said. “Join with me on this ride to think differently.”

The James Noonan Community Service Award was presented to Chris Joyce, who moved to Cape Cod from California to Cape Cod in 2011 and immediately became involved in local issues.

Joyce has since been a longstanding volunteer at the Harwich Conservation Trust and chair of the Harwich Voter Information Committee.

She worked at Pacific Gas and Electric in San Francisco and worked on an affirmative action program and fought discrimination while living on the West Coast.

After arriving on Cape Cod, Joyce became involved in the Friends of the Harwich Council on Aging where she currently volunteers.

“We can stand on the shoulders of women like you,” Peake said, who gave Joyce a legislative proclamation.

Joyce said she was “honored and humbled” to receive the award.

The Mabel Canto Democrat of the Year Award was presented to Elizabeth Harder, Harwich’s first female member of the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates.

Harder was praised for being a proponent of quality education and animal rights, who has always been passionate about Democratic values and helping Democrats get elected.

She is also an active volunteer for the women empowerment group WeCan.

Harder moved to Harwich over a decade ago to help her parents age in place.

In accepting the award, Harder thanked her fellow Democrats for their support over the years and said the community needs to continue working on housing and climate change.

Other elected officials in attendance included Harwich selectman Ed McManus, Monomoy Regional School Committee member Tina Games and Barnstable County Commission Chairman Rob Bergstrom.

Democratic State Party Chairman Gus Bickford was also on hand or the event and said at a regional level, the party would be fighting against voter suppression in 2019.

He said nationally, the Democratic National Committee has been investing in the grass roots and in local town committees.

He praised Democrats for picking up seats in the state Legislature and State Senate in 2018, a year in which a Republican, Charlie Baker, was re-elected governor.

Bickford was critical of Baker for not speaking out against President Donald Trump’s declaration of national emergency on immigration.

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy