The Energy Independent Vermont coalition held its first Activist Training this past weekend in Montpelier. Braving the snow, dozens of seasoned activists, students, and community members traveled from all over the state to get into the gritty details of the carbon pollution tax proposal and to learn how to take effective action on the campaign.
VPIRG Climate & Energy Program Director, Ben Walsh, Amy Shollenberger of Action Circles, Johanna Miller of VNRC, and Lauren Hierl of Vermont Conservation Voters, outlined many of the details of the policy proposal and engaged attendees in trainings on the power of citizen lobbying. “I’ve been working behind the scenes on this campaign for months, so it’s pretty cool to see so many people join the effort,” said Lauren.
After filling up on lunch, folks broke up into several break-out groups to practice the skills they had learned throughout the day. As one student activist noted, “it was so powerful seeing many different types of people come together for such important and bold policy”.
We’re excited and inspired by the dedication of so many Vermonters to taking bold action on climate change, but there is certainly more education to be done. Transitioning toward energy independence means taking responsibility for the energy we consume and produce while saving money and boosting our economy – and to do this, we need to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for their pollution. We are planning a series of visibility events to raise awareness for the campaign, as well as continuing to hold educational forums around the state.