The Southerner

Green Tigers Rally At Capitol

Anna Klevin, Staff Writer

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Environmental Lobby Day is a tradition for the Green Tigers, who have gathered at the capitol for several years in a row.

“This is my third time going to Environmental Lobby Day and I feel more confident than in past years,” said senior Shira Breen. The rally will be held on March 31st, the first Monday of spring break.

The main focus of the rally is clean and renewable energy. The rally is co-hosted by yea!mn (Youth Environmental Activists! Minnesota) and MPIRG (Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.)

The activists will be pushing for legislation to secure 50% of Minnesota’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Currently, Minnesota’s statewide goal is 25% by 2020, which activists believe is not ambitious enough.

There is also a separate focus on the creation of a separate energy standard for solar power.  The standards are being addressed “separately, because most of the renewable energy standard would be wind power, but they’re trying to make a separate renewable energy standard to give momentum to the solar industry,” Breen described.

The morning session will be a series of workshops in a church across the street from the capitol. “We will be doing different workshops or stations around the area. You get trained on how to talk to your legislators, there will likely be some role-playing involved where you pretend to be the legislators,” said Breen. “You get information about the energy standard.”

Following lunch at the capitol, the group will be broken up based on zip-code and given the opportunity to lobby to their own legislators. This is both exciting and intimidating. “You have to completely lead the conversation” explained Breen.

“South students have had very positive experiences with their legislators,” she continued. Most of the representatives that the students will meet with are in support of the changes they are proposing. “Most of the conservatives that oppose the changes aren’t the ones in the area.”

Regardless, Breen says that it’s important to talk to all the legislators, even those in who already support the cause. “Its super important for them to know that they are accurately representing a large majority of their constituents,” she said.

The most anticipated event of the day is easily the environmental parody of “Wrecking Ball” which the rally members will serenade the legislators with in the rotunda. “It’s a way to engage all the youth and break down the renewable energy standards into very understandable language,” explained Breen.

 

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Green Tigers Rally At Capitol