Here are several other important ways to take meaningful action in the climate space
1. Educate your candidates and policymakers about climate change
- Call your representatives! Tell them that climate change and clean energy should be their #1 priority. Here are some talking points.
-Look up the contact information for your State Representative here, and call or send them an email.
-Look up your State Senator here, and call or email them.
-Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to reach your Members of Congress.
- Attend a town hall meeting or event with candidates and policymakers. Check here or your policymaker's website or office for events in your area to get know your candidates and policymakers directly, and to talk to them about climate change. Here are some talking points on climate to help you prepare.
- Hold a meeting or attend coffee hours with your policymakers. Create direct contact with policymakers to build a relationship with them and share your concerns. Here's a guide on how to run an effective meeting. And here are some talking points on climate change.
2. Write a letter to the editor
Writing a letter to the editor to your local newspaper is an effective and easy way to share your concerns about climate change with your community and get your policymaker to take notice.
- Make one clear argument. Choose one specific issue to address in your letter and offer your argument or support in the opening lines. Make it clear, simple, and compelling.
- Be timely. If your letter is responding to an article in the newspaper or an event, make sure to respond within three days of the publication or incident.
- Cite the article. If you are writing directly in response to an article you've read in the publication, be sure to mention the title and date of the article you're responding to in one of your first two sentences.
- Be brief. Generally, 150 words or less is best. This way, you get to the point quickly and powerfully. Letters longer than 200 words will likely not get published. If you can't keep the letter to that length, you may want to consider asking someone to help you edit it or write a longer op-ed instead.
- Support your point. Make sure you include evidence and reasons to back up your argument.
- Make a call to action. Try to focus on the positive, but then wrap up your letter by stating what you think needs to happen now. An important ask right now is for Michigan policymakers to prioritize climate action and to commit to move away from fossil fuels by 2050.
- Follow up and be persistent. If you have not heard back from the paper within a week of sending your letter to the editor, send an email or make a follow-up call to check on its status. However, be aware that they may be overflowing with other letters. If your letter is not published, don't get discouraged - and keep writing!
- Include your contact information. This includes your name, address, and contact information. Often, it helps for them to know that you live locally.