Yesterday was my first action on the ground with Power Vote's campaign to pressure Duke Energy to dump ALEC #DumpALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. It was in Charlotte, NC during the week of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) which was hosted and paid for by Duke to the tune of something like $10 Million. The action opportunity arrived exactly two weeks after I was in Chicago for a weeklong "training-for-trainers" conference for Power Vote put on by Energy Action Coalition, Campus Camp Wellstone, and Southern Energy Network, and with help/training workshops by leading organizing trainers from the Sierra Student Coalition and Greenpeace.
When I got the call from Whit Jones at Energy Action Coalition (EAC) that he and Maura Cowley had made it to Charlotte and that the Duke Dump ALEC action with Greenpeace would be going down the next day, I knew I was going to be there. This was the absolute perfect opportunity to put all the training I had just done with them into play - it was happening right in my own backyard! I wouldn't have missed it even if I'd had an exam that day.
I want to just say that, that training week and yesterday's action solidified something in me that I don't think will leave me for the rest of my life.
If there's one thing I've come to learn about myself in the last year of becoming an activist, it is that it is simply just who I am meant to be. I feel stronger than ever about the cause I'm fighting for, the future I want and deserve to have, and the vital role I play in it all with making my voice heard, combining with all the other strong voices that are calling out in solidarity for the environment.
The work that EAC and ALL of the environmental, climate, energy, etc. groups do is HUGE. It's vital, it's paramount, it's incomparable, it's imperative.
It's ACTION towards a cleaner, healthier, more just present and future in a world that needs all the action it can get. A world that, sadly, has so so many elements that work directly and indirectly AGAINST these things.
Later on in the evening (after just getting home from a basically failed campus student club event that only two people showed up for, right after I'd returned to campus following the action downtown) I also jumped on an "emergency" conference call summoned by Dan Cannon of Greenpeace for members of the NC Student Energy Network (NCSEN) where I was asked to talk about the #DumpALEC action. From there, Dan and Reagan Richmond of Southern Energy Network (SEN) elaborated more on the subject and on the campaign on the national scale. It was a super awesome "emergency" call because out of the 6 or so other NC universities on the call, half of them then expressed wanting in on Power Vote and receiving trainings for it by me and hopefully Courtney from HBCU Elizabeth City College.
So that rocks.
All in all, I was happy with the day (save for 5pm - 8pm of vice presidential obligations on campus for... nothing)
and I felt called to "man up" and write my first blog on here.
... Just for the points for my PV team though of course ;P (har har I make joke.)