This article originally appeared on Change.org's Medium blog. We have obtained all rights from the author to publish it on Threading Twine.
This article refers to the annual National Governor's Association Summit in Providence, Rhode Island. This summit has already occurred; however, the information in this article is still relevant and shares important information on taking action. The next annual National Governor's Association Summit will be held in New Mexico during July.
Since Trump decided to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the Change.org community has been pushing state governors to reaffirm their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And on July 13–16, climate justice activists may get a chance to concentrate pressure on governors at the annual National Governor’s Association Summit in Providence, Rhode Island.
Interested in taking advantage of this gathering to get the attention of your legislators? This toolkit will help you organize your friends and put high-profile pressure on governors to address climate change. Explore some of these actions listed below, and then join our Facebook community of climate changemakers by liking our page. We’ll keep you updated on how people like you are using Change.org to fight for the planet!
Putting together a simple social media campaign is a great way to bring in several participants. It’s an easy lift, and a very public way to call out your governor! Try emailing your friends with social media posts already written, or even use ShareLinkGenerator to create pre-loaded social sharing links.
You can tweet at your governor or the National Governor’s Association asking that they work together to come up with a plan to fight climate change. Here is some example language you can use — but feel free to personalize it!
.@GovChristie Thousands of people are demanding that their states to join the Climate Alliance. Why haven’t you? https://www.change.org/p/chris-christie-tell-governor-christie-to-make-new-jersey-a-member-of-the-us-climate-alliance
.@GovChristie The safety of our state is at risk because of climate change. Please join the Climate Alliance. https://www.change.org/p/chris-christie-tell-governor-christie-to-make-new-jersey-a-member-of-the-us-climate-alliance
Of all the things that make legislators tick, they are often most concerned with their ability to get re-elected. It’s their job to make sure that their constituents are happy, and think they are doing a good job. If you don’t think they are, give ’em a call and tell them!
Calling your governor’s office is one of the most direct lines to his or her ears, and many organizers across the country have used it to great effect. If you want your governor to join the Climate Alliance, consider looking up their phone number here. When you call them, you can say something like:
“Hello, I am calling to request that Governor [X] commit to joining the Climate Alliance. As she/he is participating in the National Governor’s Association Summit, his/her constituents believe that it’s time to take the lead from states like California, New York, and Washington in re-committing to the goals set forward under the Paris Agreement.. Climate change poses a huge risk to the people who live in our state, and Governor [X] must take action now to protect [your state] residents. Thank you.”
Do you live in or near Rhode Island? Consider organizing a march, rally or petition delivery outside of the meeting in Providence to make sure the governors can’t ignore your message. Read more about the meeting schedule here.
The purpose of this type of action is to get the attention of your decision-maker (the governors in this case). For that, you need a few people to join you! Help gather a crowd by messaging petition signers if you are running a petition, emailing your friends, or putting out a call on social media. Start an event page to help keep track of who is attending and to communicate updates to them.
From there, you’ll want to decide how the event is going to go. Do you want to hold signs outside and chant? Are you interested in printing out petition signatures to deliver to the governors as they walk in? Maybe you want to coordinate an art piece that will attract the attention of meeting attendees. Be sure to research whether you need a permit or special permissions for anything you’re planning so that you aren’t unknowingly putting your attendees at risk of arrest.
And that’s it! This is an exciting moment to start a conversation with your representatives, so we want to make sure you have the tools to start. Let us know how your actions go by joining the conversation on Facebook.
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