The Tennessee Chapter's next Conservation Education Day (CED) is February 28. CED is your chance to meet with your State legislators in Nashville to promote the passage of bills which preserve and protect our water, air and land, and to block those bills that would do it harm. CED has been a joint effort of the Tennessee Environmental Council, the Tennessee Sierra Club, Harpeth Conservancy, Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light and the Tennessee Conservation Voters for many years.
Organizers will get to work as soon the legislature convenes, providing updates on what bills are pending, so that you can have advance preparation for your meetings. Due to the dynamics of the legislature, the final issue list won't be known until the week before CED. By February 28, key bills will be known, but crucial votes will not yet have been taken.
Lobbying training and "ask" education are planned for Tuesday evening, February 27, 6:00-8:00 pm, both in-person in Nashville, and on Zoom for those who can't attend. We will serve pizza onsite. That worked very well last year. However, we will not be sending pizza to those who are participating via Zoom.
All meetings with legislators will be Wednesday, February 28, in the Cordell Hull building, 425 5th Ave North, Nashville, the location of the Tennessee State legislative offices and hearing rooms. We have conference room 8B (eighth floor) reserved for our staging area. Coordinators will schedule meetings with legislators between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm to fit your travel schedule.
Meetings with legislators last 10-15 minutes long, with three people at each meeting, including one person taking the lead and one person taking notes. The members of many of the key committees for our bills of interest are dominated by legislators from rural districts. Since a constituent must be present, your presence might make the difference in your legislator's door being open to us. We need more Sierra Club members from non-urban areas to participate in CED.
Last year, 50 or so of us met with about 50 of the 132 total legislators. Despite the hostile political climate in DC, the Tennessee legislators are friendly and engage in real conversations. Even though they don't always agree, the exchange of ideas is valuable, and that is the purpose of our day on the hill.
Please plan to be in Nashville on February 27 and 28 so that we can increase the number of legislators with whom we meet in 2024. One of our goals is for you to establish a relationship with your legislator, if you don't already have one. By building relationships on Conservation Education Day, you ensure that they will listen to you when important issues arise.
For more information, questions or suggestions, or if you would like to help organize Conservation Education Day, contact: Bill Moll - Conservation Education Day Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org 404-401-7899
We will be contacting members, so please don't hang up or ghost us. This is an important event and it is effective and satisfying.