Youth Lobby for Clean Energy

The Lobby Day included issue education, lobby training, meetings with legislators, and a creative action in the Capitol to send politicians a message about protecting their future.

The blog below was written by an MPIRG student and lobby day participant.

Watch the video from the lobby day!

“They Work for You”

By Bobbi Henderson, University of Minnesota- Twin Cities MPIRG Chapter

There is nothing better than being a part of three Minnesota youth organizations coming together to lobby our local elected officials about the clean energy standards that we want to see in our future. Yesterday’s Environmental lobby day was a huge success that involved about a hundred youth activists from all over the state. Together we were able to lobby both state Senators and Legislators about two great initiatives that are coming up soon at the Capitol. These two initiatives combined would set Minnesota’s solar standard to 10% and its renewable energy standard to 40% by the year 2030, which are two very important goals for our future.

I personally had a great meeting with my hometown Senator Bev Scalze. She was very enthusiastic about the environmental work we are doing and became supportive of these two initiatives by the end of our meeting. This experience definitely made me realize that this session’s political climate is right to make a sizable difference in the future of Minnesota’s energy. You definitely get the vibe of “let’s get things done” just by being down at the Capitol, and it is even more inspirational to be able to talk to your elected officials about the important issues that you are passionate about.

Overall, if I were to give one take home message about my experience down at the Capitol yesterday afternoon, it would be to get involved. Even the simplest act such as sending an email, writing a letter, or leaving a voicemail for your representative means that your voice is being heard. It is your own responsibility to make sure that you take advantage of the fact that your elected officials are here to work for you, and you need to let them know where you stand on issues that are important to you. After all, it’s as Josh Winters, Executive Director of MPIRG, said, “Either you’re at the table or you’re on the table.”


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