By Cherie Ching, Advocacy Fellow
August 3, 2015
Last week at the Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) sponsored a strategy session for students and interns called “Advocacy Strategy for the Environment,” which focused on advocacy and green education. How fitting for USGBC MA to be a part of this event as we recently have been ramping up our advocacy strategies and green educational programs! At this session, students and summer interns representing green organizations, State government departments and legislators came together to learn how to improve our approach to advocacy in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
With training and guidance from Erica Mattison, the Legislative Director of ELM, we held active discussions on the current efforts and issues each of us were working. Erica touched upon strategies to effectively mobilize support for environmental issues and and how we can adjust our methods to create more change in the legislature. Erica also provided many useful tools to reach out to the “power players” and connect with the appropriate organizations regardless of which area we were working in. Through an interactive survey program, the students were able to express their advocacy concerns in their prospective fields.
As a Summer Advocacy Fellow for USGBC MA, I have worked with the Chapter to tighten up our advocacy strategies, especially during such a crucial time in the State House. In June and July, our Chapter has made many great leaps to move our priorities forward. Some of these leaps included reaching out to allied organizations; collaborating and creating focused groups; utilizing media resources, providing educational and networking opportunities; researching updates on current bills; contacting legislators; and connecting with other USGBC Chapters. I was pleased to learn that many of the advocacy strategies we talked about at the training were very much in line with the strategies being used at our Chapter!
The second session this week called “Organizing Strategy for the Environment,” will focus on specific lobbying methods and general advocacy tips.