Concerned with recent changes to environmental policies, local environmental organization Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society has embarked on a campaign to let government officials know that their constituents value a clean, healthy environment, and are watching their votes.“As we prepare to celebrate the 47th anniversary of Earth Day this weekend, our government is dismantling protections that have served to monitor and protect our global health and our quality of life for nearly fifty years” said DOAS co-president Susan O’Handley. “Coal waste can be legally dumped into our rivers and streams, setting a dangerous precedent for other industries. Our federal lands are in danger of sold and privatized. The Endangered Species Act is at risk as well as a host of other protections under Clean Air, Clean Water and Clean Power initiatives.”
According to O’Handley, the changes are overwhelming – not only in regards to environmental issues, but across an entire spectrum of topics. DOAS co-President Andy Mason added, “As an environmental organization, we are focusing on actions to help protect our environment. The one thing that we can all do is to make our voices heard, in any way possible, through the continued and constant communication about our thoughts on the issues with our elected officials.”
When assessing how best to promote widespread communications with representatives, DOAS concluded that a print letter format made the most sense. While email, postcard and phone campaigns can be effective, formal, full length letters assure first class delivery and have the ability to express expanded content on the issues, without the risk of technical difficulties or full voice mail boxes.
The group has developed letters on four topics to send through the new campaigns. They are:
- Climate Change – to addresses climate protections, clean energy and the importance of continuing to gather climate data.
- Public Lands – to support continued preservation and protection of public lands.
- Environmental Concerns – to generally address a number of concerns about changes to the Environmental Protection Agency and more.
- EPA and NASA Budget Cuts – to address concerns for repercussions of harsh budget cuts, and the importance of continued research and data collection for climate issues.
Users can submit their letters to selected representatives through DOAS using the forms that are available through links on the DOAS website at https://doas.us/action. DOAS will fax all letters submitted within 24 hours of receipt (each business day) and will also print and mail a hard-copy using the sender’s return address. A verified email address is required for processing online forms.
DOAS will be at a number of upcoming area festivals and events and will have access to the letter campaigns at each of these, including Earth Festival, this Saturday from 11am-3pm at Milford Central School. DOAS encourages area residents to come to their booth and send a few letters to our federal representatives.
The Audubon group has developed the process for these campaigns in a manner that can be easily replicated for use by others in their legislative action efforts. Any organization interested in a similar program can contact DOAS by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.