Every year, members of Chispa CT and CTLCV travel to Washington, DC to meet with our Congressional leaders about top environmental and energy concerns. This year, Chispa CT also invited two young leaders to join us, Kira Ortoleva of the Youth Climate Strike and Mitchel Kvedar of the Sunrise Movement. Both Kira and Mitchel have been powerful voices on the need for climate action and energy equity in Connecticut, and we were excited to give them the chance to learn more about engaging with national leaders, sharing their stories, and being an effective advocate.
Left to right: Alex Combelic (Legislative Director for Rep. Joe Courtney), Amanda Schoen (Deputy Director, CTLCV), Lori Brown (Executive Director, CTLCV), Kira Ortoleva (Youth Climate Strike), Mitchel Kvedar (Sunrise Movement), Alex Rodriguez (Chispa Organizer), Leticia Colon de Mejias (Chispa Director), and Tiffany Hsieh (LCV).
Over the course of several days, Mitchel and Kira attended training seminars hosted in partnership with our national Chispa organization and the League of Conservation Voters. Over the course of a whirlwind Wednesday, they had the chance to put their training to use as we met with members and staff of our entire Connecticut Congressional delegation.
Chispa CT and CTLCV shared information with our Congressional lawmakers about the dangers of toxic PFAS—especially in light of the recent contamination of the Farmington River. Kira and Mitchel spoke passionately about their families' struggles to afford electricity, and the need for state and national action to invest in efficiency and clean energy to bring down prices and close the affordability gap.
Throughout the year, Chispa CT will host local civic engagement training seminars and provide additional opportunities for our emerging leaders to meet directly with their lawmakers and share their personal stories.