Photo credits: Christy Newell
This past Tuesday YEA! MN (Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota) teamed up with MPIRG (Minnesota Public Interest Research Group) to create a youth centered lobby day at the state capitol. Tons of youth from around Minnesota, came to the event. Everyone was excited to learn about the legislative process and make a difference in our state’s environmental policy. Students learned how to lobby with their designated senators and representatives from a workshop lead by MPIRG. Then everyone divided into groups to learn more specifically about the topics on which they wanted to lobby on. The topics were the solar standard in Minnesota, the recycling refund act, Voter ID, and environmental defense of existing bills. Students met with senators and representatives in meetings MPIRG had set up. The day concluded with all the participants singing Let’s Use the Sun (to the tune of Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles) written by Shira Breen and the South High School environmental club, The Green Tigers.
The day was eye opening because I was able to see the political process that occurs in Minnesota. I learned how to lobby and I made my voice heard to our elected officials. Just as MPIRG Executive Director Joshua Winters stated at the beginning of the day: “Change doesn’t happen in a day, it takes long hard fighting to accomplish change and that’s what history shows us. We need a strong youth voice if we want to cause change”. So on that note, lets go youth! Bryn Shank- YEA! MN steering committee member
[Photo credits: Christy Newell]