Let’s talk about the 2012 Election.
Yes, that’s right. I said it. The evil “E” word that I’m sure you all thought you were rid of as you have been basking in the peaceful post-November 6th world. A world without a berating of political ads and mailings, or posts from your opinionated Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
I promise, I have no intentions of telling you who I think you should vote for, or why the opposing candidate doesn’t deserve your vote, because, as we all know, those decisions have already been made. Barack Obama has been re-elected as the President of the United States, Joe Donnelly our new US Senator, and Mike Pence our new Governor of Indiana. The Republicans have gained a supermajority in the Indiana House of Representatives, and have maintained their supermajority in the Indiana Senate.
I hope many of you exercised your right to vote this November, spent time educating yourselves on the issues, and voted for the candidates who best represented your views. We must remember, however, that civic engagement does not have to end after the election. With many important issues ranging from education reform to economic development to job creation facing our state legislature, now is the time to stay involved in the policy making process. While such issues are greatly important to our city and state, my passion and expertise, as I’m sure you will quickly discover, lie in issues related to the environment and sustainability.
So, what environmental and sustainability issues should be we paying attention to as the 2013 Indiana Legislative Session approaches? According to the Hoosier Environmental Council, these are among the top concerns for our state:
- Improving Transportation Funding Options In Central Indiana
- Investing in Clean Energy Sources; including wind, solar, geothermal, etc.
- Maintaining funding for environmental and conservation agencies
- Protecting our water resources from agricultural runoff
These are only a few environmental related topics that will be hot this legislative session, and I hope to keep you informed and updated on these topics and more as we progress over the next few months.
Now, I understand, not everyone has a “green heart” like I do, and your passions may lie elsewhere (although, if I must be frank, my goal is to convert you to the “green” side). But, if you love Indianapolis and care about our city and state, be sure to stay active and involved in advocating to local and state officials for issues you are passionate about.
Here are a few easy steps of how you can advocate for local and state issues (in no particular order):
- Contact legislators via phone, e-mail, or by scheduling an in-person meeting. Contact information may be found here
- Sign petitions, submit resolutions of support, support/join organizations that support your cause. (I’ll take this opportunity to make a transit-related plug. If you support improving transit in Central Indiana, show your support by signing the petition and learning more information here)
- Attend local events. (Again, I would be failing in my role as an environmental advocate if I did not use this opportunity to plug the Hoosier Environmental Council’s “Greening the Statehouse” event on this Saturday, December 1st. For more information and to register, go here)
- Finally, talk with others. Talk with everyone you know. Talk with friends, family, neighbors, and even your archenemies about issues that are important to you. Conversation shares knowledge, and helps to build support for issues.
And for now, I’ll step off my big green pedestal and let you all get to work. Stay active, Indy!