Advocacy works!

Dear Editor,

I am writing to urge voters not to give up on Congress. Keep telling your elected officials what you want so that they can best represent your interests. Yes, Congress is slow to make change, but meaningful change through constituent advocacy is worth the wait.

Four years ago myself and a charter bus full of environmentally conscious students from Ohio colleges headed to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress through the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Annual Spring Lobby Weekend. Our ask was simple: Co-sponsor the Promoting Resilience and Efficiency in Preparing for Attacks and Responding to Emergencies Act (PREPARE Act for short). This bill would allow federal agencies to work with state and local governments to provide disaster relief funding after extreme weather events. In 2014 the bill had 17 co-sponsors. After 200 young adults flooded Capitol Hill to speak with their representatives that number grew to 29. Four years later, at the end of April, the PREPARE Act finally passed the House of Representatives as a part of the FAA Reauthorization bill (H.R. 4).

The climate crisis won’t be solved in one day, but last month Congress took a great step forward and we thank them. However, there is more meaningful bipartisan climate work to be done. Encourage your congressman to take action by co-sponsoring H.R. 5031, the bipartisan Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act. This bill uses existing funding to encourage innovative climate solutions in the private sector through prize money. Ohio District 6 residents can call Congressman Bill Johnson’s D.C. office at 202-225-5705.

Mathew Hursey

Newcomerstown

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