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Who knew?

Prior to becoming a MELP candidate I have participated in a great deal of environmental protection, cleanup, and restoration activities and jobs. One thing I’ve never done before attending VLS was lobby or advocate for a particular issue. In fact, I never wanted to be an activist. If I was asked to march for certain issues I would decline and say it wasn’t for me. I’d rather be the strength behind the scenes, and working towards issues I believed in from that regard.
VLS has definitely changed some of my interests and willingness to be involved with lobbying. I have marched in D.C. over October break, and attended an annual lobby day as a VLS organization representative at the Vermont State House. This week, as an intern with Toxics Action Center, I am coordinating between the Advocacy Group of the VLS Environmental Law Society to stage call and write-ins to state senators, rally and recruit students to assist and attend a press conference on the state house lawn, and pack the state house with advocates on the day of the vote to deny re-licensing Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant past its previously scheduled 2012 date. Its an amazing opportunity to be thrown into.
Earlier this week I was just planning to continue my work to assist Vermont municipalities with the implementation of the salvage yard registration law passed last summer. Just 5 days later I feel like I have caught up with enough of the history, news headlines, current state of the facility, and existing laws relating to its potential closure to have a very articulate conversation with almost anyone. Its quite a unique opportunity to be pulled into without necessarily seeking it out on my own.
Who knew the person who adamantly refused to participate in political events previously would find herself heavily involved in the planning and coordination logistics of carrying out a state-wide advocacy campaign, receiving national attention? I certainly didn’t. But I’m happy to know that I can still surprise myself.


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