Friday, October 10, 2008

Advocacy in Times of Change

by Jessie Dye

One voice makes a difference; one vote makes a difference; one letter to the editor or cloth bag changes everything!

Is that naïve? No, in fact recent surveys are confirming what community organizers have known for years: the confident words and visible behavior of one person or a small group of people have an influence far beyond their own sphere.

For example, in a recent note from Annette Frahm of Sage Environmental on energy conservation, she reports:

In a large-scale survey, people ranked the importance of several reasons to
conserve energy. The results, from most to least important:
1) it will help the environment;
2) it will benefit society;
3) it will save me money;
4) other people are doing it.

However, researchers found that the belief that others were conserving correlated twice as highly with reported energy saving efforts as any of the other reasons. A follow-up marketing experiment confirmed these survey findings.

This means your vote, your opinion, your choices make a big difference in influencing the direction of our country, especially during these heated national and local elections. Here are some specific ways you can use your voice for advocacy for God’s Creation:

  • Vote! Especially make sure your children and grandchildren and friends are registered to vote. The deadline in the State of Washington for in-person registration is Saturday, October 18th.

  • Check out the Scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters ( to find the record of your elected officials on the environment.

  • Vote all the way down the ballot! In King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties in Washington, Proposition One is a great bill to help reverse global warming pollution and improve our terrible traffic. But it’s at the end of the ballot! Vote all the way “down ballot” and vote YES on Prop. One.

  • Any chance you have, tell your legislators, your friends, and your colleagues that climate change is the great moral issue of our time and is your top priority for public policy. Explain that protecting Creation matters most to you in this election. Here’s one website that can give you specific tools to do this:

Your voice makes more difference than you can imagine! At Earth Ministry we see the wonderful possibilities for green jobs, clean energy investment, a healthy and secure economy, a renewed quality of life, and a return to respect for the common good. It can be done, and it can be done in time. It is your voice and your vote that will make it happen. The time is now.

(Originally written for the Episcopal Bishop’s Committee on the Environment newsletter)

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