During this era of dissatisfaction with our federal government, it is important now more than ever for people of faith to engage with our own state government. With so many incredibly urgent issues being discussed in State Legislature, we at NC Interfaith Power & Light wanted to create a space for our network of devoted stewards of the earth to feel empowered by meeting with their legislators. That was the intention of NC Interfaith Power & Lights’s 3rd Annual “Faith Voices for Clean Energy” Advocacy Day.
In fact, we held two days at the NC General Assembly this Spring. The first, held March 21st, was focused on education and outreach to any and all individuals who found themselves in the legislative building that day, some of whom were there to support the NAACP. We were both ecstatic and invigorated at the amount of meetings that were held that day between members of our network and their individual representatives. It was our most successful year to date. The second day, held April 6th, provided specific bills that had been introduced into committees since our first visit to the legislative building.
It can be exciting for some people who easily develop relationships with their elected officials who too often are only names on a voting ballot. For others it can be an intimidating situation, meeting with your representatives for the first time. We were humbled by the last family who joined us for advocacy on April 6th. The woman with the kind smile had never met with her legislators before. Accompanied by her two sons, she gathered all the resources we provided and cautiously sought out the offices of her Senate and House members. Although her representatives were not personally in their offices when she visited, she was able to drop-off “leave behind” educational materials. We hope that she and other first-timers feel empowered through our gentle support and guidance this past Spring and in the years to come.