Eleven Liberty Bell High School students traveled to Olympia on Monday (March 11) to urge their state representatives to take action to solve the global climate crisis.
The state Legislature is considering several bills which aim to reduce carbon emissions and help Washington transition to a 100-percent clean energy future.
According to a press release, the LBHS students were frustrated by the lack of meaningful legislative action on the climate crisis. They researched and prepared testimony on five separate pieces of legislation being considered.
“All of us have been personally impacted by the effects of climate change, having been evacuated by large wildfires, and some of us have even lost our homes. Solving the climate crisis is incredibly important to our community and our generation,” said Sally Thornton-White, who organized the lobby day as her senior project, assisted by Methow Valley Citizens Council interns Cece and Camille Odell.
The students met with 12th District Reps. Mike Steele and Keith Goehner and Sen. Brad Hawkins. They also met with a coalition of climate organizers who shared best practices and experiences in advocating to address the impacts of climate change.
“It is inspiring to know that we are part of a larger movement and that we are the future voters who want to take charge of our own future,” said Icel Sukovaty, whose family owns a local farm that raises sustainably raised meats. “My family has been impacted by summers of wildfire smoke, having to wear smoke masks while working outside, on days went you couldn’t see the sun.”
For all the students, this was their first experience meeting with their representatives to urge legislative action. “When you’re at the Capitol, you realize that you are an important part of the legislative process and that your voice matters,“ said Leo Shaw. Other members of the youth delegation included Nick Fitzmaurice, Henry Jones, Simon Studen, Lazo Gitchos, Sam Neitlich and Lena Nelson.