Last Wednesday my daughter and I “played hooky” together, albeit for a worthy, distinctly 21st-century cause. We spent the day at the Statehouse in Boston as part of the Intergenerational Youth Climate Lobby Day organized by Our Climate, a nationwide young person climate advocacy group.
Approximately 120 kids from all over the state descended on the Statehouse, after spending a few hours meeting with local climate policy folks to learn about the current climate bills being considered during this legislative session. You can can WCVB’s coverage of the event here. Over the course of the day, we met with several elected officials including Sen. Michael Barrett. Sen. Barrett actually met with my daughter and a group of other teen-agers for close to two hours that afternoon. He and his staff reviewed how bills are proposed and work their way through various committee reviews. He provided an overview of climate policy and his own bill and the various policy approaches the state could take (and has taken- RGGI) to put a price on carbon emissions. My daughter and I left the Statehouse that day exhausted but exhilarated, with some sense of accomplishment. She may have skipped school but she used that time to learn about the single greatest challenge she will face during her life in the 21st century.
Interestingly enough, we invited other local students to join us and I know a few parents approached high school about the possibility of sending a group of students in for the day. I observed that most of the kids who attended last Wednesday did so as part of their school and were accompanied by a teacher. Talk about an excellent opportunity to learn first hand about about the legislative process and major policy issues!
I have no doubt there will be other opportunities to advocate for Sen. Barrett’s bill (and others) in the coming months. Our congregation will actually be sponsoring a legislative forum on the current climate bills next month in March. Not everyone has to skip school to do this work, but even if a few kids do, I think it is time and effort well spent.
We have a sweet and active weekend here at First Parish. Tonight many of us are gathering for Trivia Night with my friend George Groccia working as our Trivia Master. (George is one of the founders of Stump Trivia). Then on Sunday we will have Part 2 of my Technology and Soul Sermon Series followed by our Second Annual Chocolate Sunday Fellowship Hour. Finally, we will be offering a special after-church program about “Creating Safer and More Welcoming Faith Communities” with a presentation by Greater Boston PFLAG.
See you in church,