To make the change we need, we need to first understand the problems we’re trying to solve. And that takes research. We release hard-hitting research each year focusing on policy solutions we could pursue to address environmental issues ranging from climate change to conservation. Elizabeth Ridlington, senior policy analyst on our national network's research team, has authored more than 50 reports on global warming, fracking, clean vehicles and more. She’s been with our network for more than 20 years, and she knows that facts and science are more important than ever.
But facts alone won’t make change happen. For that, we need to make our case to decision-makers and the media. That’s what our advocates, such as Dan Jacobson, do every day. Dan’s been working to protect the environment since the 1980’s, and has accomplished a lot along the way — including the passage of California's landmark commitment to 100 percent renewable electricity. He knows what it takes to persuade our leaders to do what’s right, and how to gain media attention to spread awareness about the issues facing our environment and the possible solutions.
Most of the time, informing decision-makers isn’t enough. We need people — a lot of people — behind our solutions, raising the call for change. That's when our staff get to work building a wave of public support like the lawn signs, petitions and rallies that associate Jamie Lockwood and her team organized to save the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Our organizers know the importance of building public support to get things done, and they’re ready to hit the ground running to knock on doors, gather petition signatures and photo petitions, and educate the public on what they can do to make sure their leaders act in their interest and in the interest of the environment.
When all of this work comes together, we win results: saving the Land and Water Conservation Fund from permanent expiration, passing the first statewide bans on polystyrene foam cups and containers, and winning statewide clean energy legislation in a growing number of states. Our ability to win for the environment is why so many people support us — and their support makes this work possible. Those people include members such as Phyllis, who supports Environment Colorado because of our combination of research and policy and dedication to advocacy at the state level.