Last week, I traveled to Washington DC to meet with Colorado Officials on Capitol Hill. During the evening, I was able to meet fellow interns from all over the country and a variety of people working with a number of environmental organizations. After dinner, we attended a demonstration outside of the EPA, where a couple of Defend interns were interviewed about their position on environmental issues.
The following day, we hurried to Capitol Hill for the first of our many office visits. We discussed environmental issues faced by Coloradans with a member of Representative DeGette’s staff, and after, with a member of Senator Gardener’s staff. We were also able to meet with Senator Bennet. It was a unique experience to discuss environmental issues facing our generation with a senator, and although it was brief, he seemed genuinely happy to sit down with us and listen to our concerns. We ended our visit with a member of Congressman Perlmutter’s staff.
After the Capitol Hill visits, I was able to sit down for lunch with fellow interns to learn more about how the Environmental Defense Fund is involved in climate legislation. As a whole, the trip was a unique and enjoyable opportunity. Being able to sit down with my elected officials and their staff to discuss environmental issues was an amazing experience. It was great to know that my voice was being heard, and that my concerns were shared by many, whether Democrat or Republican. It served to motivate me to continue engaging in these issues and to encourage others to do the same.
Joseph Bryant is a Defend Our Future Intern at Colorado State University.