Longtime Boston TV Meteorologist Mish Michaels led the campaign to make Ms. G the State Groundhog for the Commonwealth. Ms. G’s official duties now include posting a forecast on February 2nd, Groundhog Day! Mish was joined on the campaign trail by her 8-year old daughter and her daughter’s classmates in Wellesley at the Hunnewell Elementary School.
Mish first met Ms. G, a resident of Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, back in 2007 while working with Mass Audubon on stories for Boston’s WBZ newes related to the environment, weather, and climate change. Mish encouraged the Mass Audubon to host an annual Groundhog Day event featuring Ms. G. In 2008, Ms. G posted her first forecast on February 2nd. A star was born! In fact, Ms. G has had better local forecast accuracy with her “shadow/no shadow” forecast than Punxsutawney Phil in PA. It is Ms. G’s local weather expertise that inspired Mish to take on the role as Ms. G’s campaign manager.
In early 2013, Mish met with Wellesley Representative Alice Peisch to discuss the road ahead for Ms. G. The goal—not only to have a groundhog with local forecast expertise, but to encourage students to study weather by making Ms. G the official State Groundhog. Representative Peisch crafted language for the proposed bill, H.2864. Ms. G’s Bill was initially assigned to the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulartory Oversight. Thanks to the well-crafted testimony of Hunnewell Elementary School students in Wellesley, and the support of others in the community, the Ms. G Bill reported out favorably. The House of Representatives voted favorably to send Ms G.’s bill onto the Senate for consideration the last week of March, 2014.
The Ms. G Bill was debated by the Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday, July 17, 2014 and was overwhelmingly passed. First grade students from Hunnewell Elementary who helped lead the campaign were on the floor of the Senate to be part of this historic vote. Once the bill was passed, the students were treated to a standing ovation and many “high fives” by Senators.
On Monday, July 21, 2014, the Ms. G Bill passed both final House and Senate votes and on Thursday, July 31, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed H.2864, making Ms G the Official Massachusetts State Groundhog. Congratulations to the second graders at the Hunnewell School in Wellesley for their successful legislative campaign which started when they were in kindergarten!