Lobby Day was a very interesting time for my peers from Burnsville High School and me. Having taken the bus to the Capitol, I was very excited to see what was to come that day. I spent weeks helping YEA! MN gather students from my school for this awesome event. When reaching the church nearby for training, I was very interested by the speakers who discussed our agenda.
The Youth Democracy Summit on January 17th was an extremely powerful and motivating experience. It was inspiring to see such a multitude of strong, smart, and driven young organizers all in one place. Going to the small-group panel on sustainable transportation in the 21st century was interesting to me because I was able to gain a perspective on the transportation issues that are present in greater Minnesota. Growing up in Minneapolis, I have always had many different transportation options available to me. I have the luxury of great bike lanes and bus routes that can efficiently get me anywhere in the city. People living in places like Mankato or Duluth don’t have those options, which then becomes an equity issue. I wasn’t aware of these things until we discussed them in a group with people living all around the state.
Despite many being under the legal voting age, a contingent of high school youth gathered at Governor Dayton’s office on Friday November 21st to deliver over 1,000 public comments and photo petitions in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan before the December 1 comment deadline. The students, part of the Will Steger Foundation’s YEA! MN high school program, joined MPIRG and Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light to thank Governor Dayton for his clean energy leadership and urge him to keep Minnesota on track for further carbon reductions as required by the Clean Power Plan.
On November 8th, 2014, 120 youth gathered at El Colegio High School in South Minneapolis to discuss pressing issues of climate justice and community organizing. With workshops on diverse topics such as Intersectionality, Climate Change, and Aquaponics, this event helped me understand the problems as well as the resources within our community. Overall, YouthCAN! was a great place to learn about climate justice and meet others engaging in community action around this subject.
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