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Citizen Lobbyists in Action
Citizen participation is critically important in how the Sierra Club exerts its power at the Capitol in Lansing. Participation can be as simple as signing a petition or as involved as serving as a Lead Lobbyists for one of our Lobby Days, being an District Leader or even coming to Lansing to testify on behalf of the Sierra Club at committee hearings. This page is devoted to showcasing some of our activists and the role they play as citizen lobbyists.
James D'Amour of Ann Arbor Testifies in support of State Park funding bills
When James learned that hearings were scheduled for a package of bills to create a stable funding source for State Parks, he was interested in helping. James joined Legislative Director Gayle Miller in Lansing and testified on behalf of the Sierra Club in the House Great Lakes and Environment Committee, chaired by his own Representative Rebecca Warren (see photo). James' short presentation to the committee focused on his love of Michigan State Parks and formally put Sierra Club on record as supporting House Bills 4677 and 4678, dubbed the Recreational Passport Proposal.
According to James, "Testifying for the Sierra Club was a wonderful experience, and quite an honor...In short, I had a blast! I think our lawmakers are looking to us to tell our personal stories of how our lives are affected by the legislation they create on environmental policy. While I didnt have the technical expertise of other witnesses, it is helpful to let our legislators know how the decisions they make affect us. Though Ive been a local activist for some time, Ive never had an opportunity or experience such as this before. It was very exciting, educational, and very rewarding."
Citizen Lobbyists Participate in Lobby Day
More than 85 Citizen Lobbyists attended Sierra Club's Lobby Day on March 25. Many new lobbyists were in attendance - but each new lobbyist was mentored by a seasoned Lead Lobbyist. Here's what some of our lobbyists had to say about their experience at Lobby Day:
"Very educational and inspiring!"
"Lobby Day is a fairly easy way to engage in the political process; we have to trust that Sierra Club knows their stuff and represents us well, which I've also found to be quite true."
"Great Day!! I felt like we really made a difference!!!"
"Overall, this was a very enjoyable experience. It made me feel empowered to be able to walk into a legislators' office and speak with them about REAL issues I am concerned about."
"The Lobby Day experience made me feel personally and intimately involved in the legislative process. And, indeed, it reinforced my respect for and faith in the democratic process. And it made me feel more confident in the integrity of our state legislators--Republicans & Democrats alike."
"This is my third lobby day and each time I feel more comfortable and confident. Rep. Kennedy approached our team in the hallway and said she really appreciated our work. We did not have a meeting with her, she just saw the Sierra club logo...it was nice to know that they notice us."
"Our leader was...excellent--made the day most interesting & fun."
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