Cheers to the Power of Advocacy and Climate Progress in DC

by Jessica Beal, CCAN Intern

A week ago we received the news that the DC Council would move to pass the Clean Energy DC Act (the first of two votes). This is the news that CCAN has been waiting for, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be apart of a coalition that worked diligently to pass this monumental bill.

After having some time to reflect on all of the people that I witnessed fight for this victory,  it was the volunteers that I met through this process that left the largest impression on me. I was inspired by the Howard University students, the local residents, and CCAN Action Fund volunteers that showed up to every event, that spoke out about the importance passing this bill, and took action in their own communities.

Before my arrival at CCAN, I had been wallowing in a feeling of discouragement due to the federal government’s inaction in regards to climate change. Yet these activists summoned a spirit of revival within me, and renewed my hope in the power of advocacy. Our work at CCAN could not be done without the help of volunteers who choose to not let others stand in the way of a sustainable future. In fact, the fight may not always lead to a victory, but that should never terminate your will to persist.

So I write this post both as a thank you to the volunteers who took the time to fight for the Clean Energy DC Act and inspired me, but also as a notice to others. Your voice matters, and any action that you choose to take to fight for your cause is important. I carried one of thirteen  boxes full of 10,000 petitions through the halls of the D.C. Council. Each petition signed was someone who took the opportunity to state their opinion. I felt the weight of each individual’s voice as I marched it to a Councilmember’s office. It matters that we do what we can: sign a petition, speak at a local hearing, engage with people in your community. You never know who it will inspire, and what your actions will accomplish.