The Climate + Energy Project (CEP) partnered with community organizations and businesses from across the state to host a day of advocacy and education on water, energy, air, land, transportation and health policies in Kansas. On March 16th, approximately 200 people participated in the event.
The first clean energy day at the Kansas capitol occurred in 2008. CEP and partners have co-hosted energy and environment advocacy days seven times in the last decade. This year WEALTH Day included an even more diverse group of organizations and businesses who came together to support environmental advocacy and education. "The day was a great example of advocacy that put political affiliations aside and focused on building bipartisanship progress," said Zack Pistora, contract lobbyist for the Sierra Club and VP of Kansas Natural Resource Council. "WEALTH Day was a great success and is just a glimpse of the capacity these stakeholders have in joining together to benefit Kansas policy and our environment."
Advocates at WEALTH Day were joined by approximately 45 legislators who spoke on water, energy, air, land, transportation, and health topics. "I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak about the importance of clean and accessible water to all Kansans, now and into the future," said Senator John Doll from district 39.
Tasha Haas from Jefferson County said, "I feel encouraged by what I learned at WEALTH day. I left feeling educated and inspired. It was great to see that our legislators are real people and although we may not agree on every issue, nor share a political party, we can find common ground on our shared environment."
Gerry Snyder from Kansas State University said "thank you so much for hosting WEALTH Day at the Capitol! The students that accompanied me enjoyed experiencing advocacy in action and the chance to hear about some of the pressing and important environmental bills and issues facing our state."
KU Recycling and partners worked to ensure a minimal waste event. Raven's Table Catering provided a locally produced, healthy, and delicious lunch.
What's next? WEALTH Day at the Capitol was the kick off event for a new health equity project funded by the Kansas Health Foundation. With this project, CEP and WEALTH partners will explore health equity opportunities that relate to water, energy, air, land, and transportation in Kansas. Watch for more from WEALTH partners as they embark on this project.
WEALTH Partners: Climate + Energy Project, Kansas Rural Center, Kansas Interfaith Action, Kansas Natural Resources Council, Kansas City Chapter NAACP, Diesel Health Project, and Grassland Heritage Foundation.
WEALTH Day Sponsors: Kansas Sierra Club, Friends of the Kaw, True Blue Women,Lawrence Ecology Teams United in Sustainability, Kansas Alliance Wetlands and Streams,Sustainable Sanctuaries Coalition, League of Women Voters of Kansas, King Solar, Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Audubon of Kansas, Shawnee County Democrats, Oak Grove Fabrication, JCCC Campus Farm and Sustainable Ag Program, Good Energy Solutions, Kansas Green Party, and Cromwell Solar.