This past summer, I worked as a Statewide Intern for the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW). My time with LOPPW mostly centered around the environment, as Gov. Tony Evers’ Task Force on Climate Change held special virtual listening sessions this June and July.
These sessions began with a few presentations that highlighted certain issues and solutions, such as the city of River Falls discussing their path to renewable energy and programs like Groundwork Milwaukee focusing on environmental justice and health.
Once the presentations ended, the 100-200 participants got divided up into break-out groups, where Wisconsinites had the opportunity to voice their thoughts on climate issues throughout the state.
These sessions and the Task Force itself represent a necessary step towards bringing a larger focus to the environmental issues affecting Wisconsin.
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes led each session and continues to serve as chair of the Task Force. It felt especially impactful to see the Lt. Gov. really care for each person and their story. Though, I am not naïve to the fact that possibly half the state could not care less about these sessions, this Task Force, or environmental issues at all.
Voters need to make their desires to see bold and equitable climate action in Wisconsin known to their representatives in the Wisconsin State Assembly. We must make it clear that Climate Change in this state represents an immediate threat to us all.
Not only can this be achieved through ballot boxes this November, but also by contacting our legislative delegates. Representatives want to hear from their constituents.
This would help us see issues that we care about addressed and would hold representatives accountable to their voters.
There is so much going on every day in 2020. We still face tremendous adversity due to COVID-19. There have also been catastrophic hurricanes that have smashed through the Caribbean and the fires that have raged across the West Coast.
Underlying systemic problems and social injustices have shot into focus following the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville and the injury of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, along with countless others.
These injustices further prove that Wisconsinites — and all people — should never act with complacency. I firmly believe that the wheels of change always remain in motion.
They demand action. We must continue advocating for what we believe in, going out into this world to demand racial justice, environmental justice and virtue in all aspects of life.
As it stands, the upcoming Nov. 3 election could alter the course of our state and nation for years to come. So, up and down the ticket, VOTE.
Make your voice heard.
Evan Sadlon ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in history and religious studies. He is a statewide Intern for the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin.