Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Engaging Politics from Matthew Kristensen

Learning more about our society’s dependency on fossil fuels and how we can change this model has been very exciting in my work with Fossil Fuel Free Denver. The Fossil Fuel Free Denver mission is to work to end the use of fossil fuels in the city of Denver and offer a better quality of life to its citizens through engaging in and fostering civil conservation with decision makers, and conveying the necessity, the viability, and the attractiveness of ending our use of fossil fuels. I used research methods such as, online research, attending meetings, and participating in public awareness efforts, to learn more about this organization. I anticipated my research would reveal information about the history of the organization, further knowledge of their mission and message, and the different methods and strategies they use in the political arena. The results of my research showed that Fossil Fuel Free Denver is a fairly new organization and a sub-committee of CO-Force, an organization focused on achieving fair utility rates and clean energy for Coloradoans. Fossil Fuel Free Denver connects with citizens by raising awareness for their organization. They achieve this in different ways such as passing out business cards during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade, participating in the Eco Justice Ministries climate change rally, and many other public events. Research has also shown that the main way in which Fossil Fuel Free Denver engages in politics is through lobbying. Their organizational meetings focus on sharing the results from conversations with Denver decision makers and targeting new decision makers to talk with and share their mission. For the future I think Fossil Fuel Free Denver should produce some literature that lays out simple ways everyday people can reduce their fossil fuel usage. I believe passing something like that out at events rather than just business cards would be better at raising awareness for this problem and influence people to make those simple changes in their life. Working with Fossil Fuel Free Denver has shown me how powerful lobbying can be at engaging both citizens and policy makers if your cause is just and I hope to continue Fossil Fuel Free Denver’s mission by reducing my use of fossil fuels as much as I can while encouraging others to do the same. 

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