July 1, 2019

ELM Action Fund Announces New Executive Director

The ELM Action Fund is proud to announce its new Executive Director. Clare Kelly will join the ELM Action Fund in early July, bringing expertise and years of experience in Massachusetts politics and environmental advocacy. Clare played a large role in Deval Patrick’s re-election campaign in 2010 and was former Executive Director of the MA Democratic Party. Recently, she served as President of the Reason to Believe PAC, a nationwide grassroots organization advocating for progressive policies and candidates.

“We’re thrilled to have Clare join us. Her passion and experience will take our Action Fund to the next level, electing environmental champions, holding elected official accountable, and building political will for environmental progress,” said ELM President Elizabeth Henry. “She knows how smart politics can drive policymakers to respond to the urgency of the environmental challenges we face.”

Clare Kelly is hitting the ground running and the ELM Action Fund is announcing its first round of endorsements for the 2019 municipal elections under her leadership:

Lydia Edwards, Boston City Council District 1

Ever since Councilwoman Edwards was elected in 2017 she has been a champion on environmental issues. Her environmental priorities include protecting open space on the waterfront, investing in climate resiliency, and increasing public transportation. She will continue to be a strong voice for the environment on the Boston City Council.


Etel Haxhiaj, Worcester City Council At-Large

Etel is a refugee from Albania who arrived in Worcester nearly 18 years ago. She worked as a legal advocate in the Attorney General’s office and has served on several city boards and commissions. Most recently she worked as an organizer for Mothers Out Front, protecting children’s health from the dangers of gas leaks. Her experience as a refugee and an advocate will make her a valuable member of the Worcester City Council.

Nicole LaChapelle, Easthampton Mayor

Mayor LaChapelle is running for her second term. She served on the Easthampton Zoning Board of Appeals for nine years where she advocated for environmentally conscious and protective measures for conservation areas. As a member of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs subcommittee, she put forward strong proposals that identified environmental issues as social and climate justice concerns.

Joe Petty, Worcester Mayor

During his three terms as mayor of Worcester, Mayor Joe Petty has launched a number of environmental initiatives, most notably “A Greener Future Today” plan for addressing climate change and building a more sustainable city. He was one of the first mayors in the state to commit their city to the Paris Climate goals after President Trump exited the agreement. He led efforts to fight for investments in parks and recreation facilities and improve water quality in the city’s two largest lakes used for swimming and recreation. Mayor Petty will continue to be a champion for the Worcester environment.

“Strong environmental policy at the local level can make a big difference in today’s political climate,” said Clare Kelly, new ELM Action Fund Executive Director. “I’m proud to join ELM to accelerate progress and build a powerful, deep green bench of elected officials across the Commonwealth.”

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