By Rachel Fletcher February 24, 2019

As an aspiring politician, my New Year’s resolution was to learn about policy areas that I have not been previously involved in or educated about. One issue area I have always been curious about, but never spent much time investigating, is environmental policy. As an intern with Defend Our Future, this is quickly changing.

Throughout my month and a half with Defend, I have learned so much, particularly about EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s rollback of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). I also am enjoying learning about different ways to engage with government officials. For example, I recently attended an office visit with Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s staff where I, along with fellow interns and our fearless leader, Nick, urged Senator Sinema to be a leader on climate action. We also asked that she vote against Andrew Wheeler as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and speak out against the rollback of MATS, two crucial chances to show she is listening to Arizonans who want meaningful action now.

Last summer, I was an intern in then-Representative Sinema’s office in Washington, D.C. where I frequently chatted with interest groups waiting to speak with her staff. Because of this, it was especially exciting to be on the other side of this conversation, surrounded by other passionate young people dedicated to making the planet better, and experience this type of meeting from a different perspective. I would not have been able to do this if I was not part of Defend Our Future, and I encourage you to be involved as well in the movement for a safer and more prosperous environment.

Rachel Fletcher is a junior at Arizona State University.