20 years ago today, Lithuania was the first nation to declare independence from the Soviet Union. Word up to peoples movements, global revolution, and our generations role in this incredible political moment.
My Lithuanian Powershift Story!
Happy Independence Day y’all; see ya in DC!
Egypt. SB5. I see you. I feel restless. When I got the call about a chance to get a message straight to Sherrod Brown, I couldn’t dial phone numbers fast enough.
Mr. Brown is getting ready to go to Washington to vote on proposals that would slash the EPA’s budget for the Clean Air Act. He is considered a swing vote – who has previously voted for health care, who impeccably votes for jobs- but needs to hear our voice and vote to protect the Clean Air Act Continue reading
It is amazing to me that one month ago, I barely had an any idea of what OSEC or Powershift even were. On a Wednesday afternoon in late January, I got a call from a phone number I didn’t know. I never pick up the phone when the call is from an unknown number. If it’s important enough they’ll leave a message, right? This number didn’t leave a message. However, for some reason or another later day, I was with some friends and decided to call the number back, and who picks up on the other line but Oberlin senior and OSEC member Erika Zarowin. She had called out-of-the-blue to invite me to join some OSEC girls leaving for Detroit, Michigan that Friday to plan an environmental conference for the fall. Boy, was it lucky that I had decided to call back the unknown caller? I happily said I’d join them. Continue reading
Ohio students have wasted no time in registering their disenchantment and disapproval of our recently-inaugurated Governor, matching the speed with which John Kasich began undermining Ohio’s recovery, environmental progress and industrial sector-development with a slew of austerity measures, anti-environmental policies, and conservative attacks on public services, upper education, and organized labor. Even before being formally inaugurated as one of the least popular starting governors in our state’s history, Gov. Kasich was overseeing the wreckage of our infrastructural aspirations Continue reading
Driving through the night across Ohio and up through Michigan from Cleveland to Detroit on Friday with four of the most amazing women I have ever met, I was stunned and awed by the industry and power production surrounding us on all sides. Bright lights, flares and billowing smoke flooded the otherwise peaceful, moonlit night as we rocked out to Lady Gaga and Blondie barreling down interstates 90 and 75. Continue reading
As I rang in the new year with friends and many thousands of others in the East Village of Manhattan, I found my thoughts drifting upward and westward of the hip, drunk masses to my beloved Northeast Ohio: friends, memories, college, my favorite bar — all so geographically distant but all so close to my heart. Despite growing up in Massachusetts in and around Cambridge, I really feel at home in and dig NEO. My more recent homes of Oberlin and Cleveland are now central to who I am and, more importantly, how I see the world. Northeast Ohio is, after all, where I became an environmentalist. As a result, the process of developing new years resolutions and thus thinking about how I will spend the next year of my life both tugs at a heart string and beckons a panic attack. I am an environmentalist. I love NEO. I need a job. Where will I be in a year or even five months? (If you have a job for me in Cleveland, let me know!) Will all of these things mesh together? I certainly hope so, but I also acknowledge that my new years resolutions must be more durable than the Northeast Ohio job market.
- Power Shift + 100
Not only am I resolving to attend Power Shift 2011 in Washington D.C. (duh!), but I feel that, given the extent to which the 2009 conference was a motivational turning point for me as an environmentalist, it is important that I bring along as many people as possible. So, Power Shift + 100 will be the name of the game at Oberlin this spring, or perhaps Power Shift 101? Yup, it’s what it sounds like. I plan to work with others on campus to bring at least 100 Obies to Power Shift in April in addition to myself. Who’s with me? And how many people are you going to bring from your campus?!
- Grow my gub
After working with community members in Cleveland to make local produce a reality in Detroit-Shoreway, I want to do it for myself too. As I finish my final months at Oberlin, I will be nurturing seedlings forward into the world. These seedlings will come with me as I move on to the next chapter in my life and they will take root in new soil along side me, be it in Cleveland or elsewhere. Come harvest, I will be eating salads and hearty potatoes from my yard and thinking back to the messy process of planting seeds on my kitchen floor. (Look out house mates, it might get muddy!)
- Live to Love Transit
The past few months of working with OSEC folks to learn about the 3C rail proposal and transit access issues in Lorain County (concerning the mostly inactive Lorain County Transit) has helped me to realize how epically important transit is to the durability of our communities and state. Thus, no matter where I am in a year, I resolve to think about, talk about and advocate for just and equitable transit access. Ensuring that sustainable transit options exist within and between urban centers is such a crucial piece of making sure that all people, regardless of privilege, are able to get themselves to work, school, the grocery store and health clinics. Rail and public transit systems create jobs and encourage safe, connected and accessible community development. Food, jobs, sustainable transportation, health and justice all in one — what could be more important???
- Stay Engaged and Engage Others
For me, environmentalism has been a very central part of my time in college. As an environmental studies major, a member of OSEC and a member of Headwaters Magazine at Oberlin, my environmental work has defined my academic and extracurricular college experiences. Thus, when I graduate, I resolve to stay engaged with the environmental movement by getting involved in my new community. I also resolve to continue engaging others, both before I graduate and in the next chapter of my life. At Oberlin, so many beautiful experiences and realizations have come out of my environmental work, and I care deeply about encouraging others to get involved with and shape the organizations that have shaped me. In the next chapter of my life, I want to remember that building the movement is an active process and I need to make the effort to meet new people with whom to work and continue growing my passion.
- It’s not just about green
Building a truly sustainable movement is about more than living locally, fighting dirty energy and growing the clean energy economy. Thus, I am going to take at least 30 minutes every day to do something for myself — read a book, go on a bike ride, spend time with friends, take a nap. I am also going to remember to support others in the movement by taking the time to check in about what else is going on in people’s lives. If we can all learn to actively support and respect the beautiful, passionate and inspiring people with whom we work, our movement will only grow stronger.
The coming year will, undoubtedly, be one of much change. I do not know where I will be living or what I will be working on in 12 months, but I do know that staying true to these five resolutions will be a pretty solid guiding light as I face my final semester of undergrad and then post-collegiate life. If in a year I can say that I have stayed true to my values as an environmentalist, I think I will be doing pretty well for myself!
ELECTION DAY! So, why do I care? Well, this election is a big deal. We have some really close races in Ohio, and its so important that we, as young people, make our voices heard. The politicians we elect today will spend the next two, four, six or more years making decisions for our future and the future of our planet, and we should let them know what’s up and what we care about. There are obviously many ways to let politicians and other powerful people in the world know what we think, and we owe it to them to fight hard with a full court press. No one approach will be enough if we are to create the world we want to see, and this is our future we’re talking about here! It’s kind of a big deal. Continue reading
The future is here! In the past few weeks, there have been a number of exciting changes within OSEC. Three weeks ago, the OSEC Steering Committee unanimously decided to separate from Energy Justice Network and then to become a part of Global Exchange. And in the coming year, we will be working with our new parent-organization to establish OSEC as it’s own 501(c)3 non-profit organization!
Last week, the board of Energy Action Coalition approved OSEC’s proposal for funding, pledging to support OSEC for the next nine months as we run our Power Vote campaign, bring young Ohioans to Power Shift 2011 and grow our state network. And within the next few days, OSEC will be hiring our new state coordinator! Continue reading