WSU students will advocate for climate change policies in Olympia

Environmental group hopes to rally voters, increase legislation



OurClimate, students and other organizations will hold the second annual youth rally and lobby event today in Olympia to get students involved and more educated about climate change.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

Students and environmental activist organizations will come together to lobby and rally for climate change legislation today.

Jessica Hart is a WSU junior sports science major and a fellow in the Washington branch of Our Climate. She said the event will feature youth in the Seattle area who come together to advocate for climate change policies.

“The main goal for [today] is to really focus on acting on climate in a way that is equitable, so all policies that we want them to pass will have some sort of equity component,” said Our Climate Northwest Field Organizer Emily Martin.

At the event, participants will write letters to their elected officials about climate change and hold a rally at the rotunda in Olympia during a floor vote, Martin said. They will also attempt to get officials to sign a pledge to not take contributions from any fossil fuel companies.

Hart said the event will also feature performers pumping up the group and guest speakers.

This is the event’s second year, Hart said. The event last year was more focused on lobbying but this year is more centered on rallying.

She said it is important that students join the cause because this is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. By writing letters to their officials, the students hope to portray to lawmakers how badly they want to see legislative change.

“We are just trying to help students get involved to feel empowered to make the changes that need to happen,” Hart said. “Because if we don’t make them, nobody will.”

Martin said they want to make it clear to the people in power that if they do not start making changes when it comes to climate change, they will not vote for them.

“We are rapidly becoming the largest voting demographic in the United States, people under the age of 25 are,” she said. “We are soon going to outnumber the Baby Boomers by the next election.”

Hart said some younger people believe a common misconception that they will be old by the time climate change begins to impact the environment.

“Our generation is going to be the one that is going to be dealing with the health and climate effects of all the carbon that we are putting in the atmosphere,” she said.

Martin said climate change in the largest, most wide-reaching crisis of our time.

“Climate change is something that we have seen is already having a huge impact on all of our lives,” she said. “It is costing us money and it’s costing us time.”

Hart said if someone is not able to attend the event, they should still try to get involved with one of the organizations in the area.

Martin said anyone can help make a change by calling their elected official or submitting a letter to them using the National Youth Climate Lobby Day website.