Electrification mandate? Not so fast, says Carolyn Kraft

As an energy overhaul proposal moves forward that would require all new construction and major renovations to run on electricity and not fossil fuels, that plan is getting pushback from residents.

And one of them wants to put it on a ballot.

Carolyn Kraft—local activist and ex-daughter-in-law of Patriots owner Bob Kraft—has sent a letter (which was forwarded to the Newton Beacon) to Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and City Council President Mark Laredo asking for a meeting to discuss a voter referendum “to add to the ballot the issue of electrification of our city.”

The electrification ordinance proposal, now making its way through City Hall for a vote, is aimed at mitigating climate change and other environmental concerns by greatly reducing fossil fuel reliance in the city. Opponents say it will add too much financial burden to moderate-income families in the city.

“I have led the way on several environmental initiatives over the years, however many voters believe a City ordinance stripping residents of their right to choose the source of energy used to feed their family just goes too far,” Kraft’s letter reads.

Kraft’s letter claims that “several officials” have asked the state to strike down anything in a new local electrification ordinance that allows families to choose whether or not to switch to electric.

“Before succumbing to outside political pressure and stripping our Newton residents of their right to choose, we want residents to be given the opportunity to have their voice be heard at the ballot box,” Kraft’s letter continues. “We have assembled a team, that has the ability to collect the needed signatures to allow this item to be added to the ballot, thus allowing voters to weigh in on this important decision.”