Grassroots Environmental Action Group

After attending an activist training with Friends of the Earth in Washington DC earlier this year, I came home energized and motivated to take real action towards pushing for progressive policies. While I had done the traditional actions of petition signing, calling in, and writing letters to my members of Congress, it was obvious that to create a larger impact, I needed to recruit members of my community to take action with me.

Since then, I've started a Bay area based community action group committed to telling our representatives that our health, future, and wellbeing should take top priority when they create policies. Together with a group of other concerned citizens recruited from across the city, we are continuously working on projects to engage our fellow residents and make our voices heard.

Our first meeting brought together old friends and new faces to talk about our vision, our concerns, and brainstorm possible tactics for pressuring our members of Congress to stand up to the harmful budget cuts.

Our main priority today is to protect the EPA from the current administration's harmful proposed budget cuts. While a lot of critical programs might get cut for increased spending on defense and the military, the EPA is a crucial watchdog organization and one of the only protecters at a federal level against big polluters. By slashing its budget, the administration is essentially using a back door tactic to dismantle the organization and render its regulations ineffectual. We cannot let that happen.

So far, we've hosted a letter writing party where friends gathered to talk about the current issues, meet new people also concerned for our future, and write letters to our members of Congress urging them to reject the budget. In all, we wrote over 50 letters in one night, amplifying our impact through the power of civic engagement.

While many of us are concerned about many different issues, we all agree that the threat to our environment is one of the most pressing importance. Many of the societal challenges we face today are intricately entwined with our environment, whether it's battling the widening socioeconomic gap, fighting for better education, or even determining a national healthcare plan. Issues cannot be addressed in isolation – we need to examine the larger scope of the systems involved. By focusing on one critical aspect of all of these problems, the health of our environment and natural resources, we can work towards solutions for other causes as well.

We still have many plans to come, so stay tuned! If you're interested in getting updates about the group or want to jump on in, head over to our Facebook group to stay in the loop.