Call of the Day: Pressure State Officials To Uphold The Paris Climate Agreement

Almost 200 countries around the world signed the Paris Climate Agreement, a voluntary collaboration to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions wherein each country sets its own targets.

Not us.

Last week, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Accord.  I could go on and on about how damaging this is, not just from an environmental perspective but also an economic and strategic one, but chances are, you already know:  The majority of Americans support staying in the Paris Accord.

That's where we come in.

Although Trump has decided to pull the U.S. from the agreement on the federal level, individual states actually have far more power to control their greenhouse gas emissions and clean energy initiatives.  In fact, the more local you go – states, parishes, even cities – the more control officials have.  It's how we've seen cities like Abita Springs commit to using 100% clean energy by 2030, or why Mayor Mitch Landrieu, along with hundreds of other mayors nationwide, was able to commit to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement anyway.

If we're going to combat climate change and leave a world for our kids to inhabit, we can't rely on the Trump Administration.  It's down to us, calling on our governor, our state reps, and our parish council members to pick up the slack.

WHO TO CALL:

Governor Jon Bel Edwards, your state legislators, and the Jefferson Parish Council (Jefferson Parish residents only)

Governor's Office

Governor Bel Edwards has a Constituent Help Line at: (225) 342-0991

State Rep and Senator

If you don't know who your state senator or representative is, go to www.legis.la.gov.  Click on "Who are my Legislators?" on the left side of the Home page, and enter your address.  Then click on your legislator's name to be taken to their website and their contact info.  It's actually really quick to do, promise.

EXAMPLE: State Representative Neil C. Abramson: (504) 275-8051

EXAMPLE: State Senator Conrad Appel: (504) 838-5550

Jefferson Parish Council

You can call the general line at (504) 736-6600, or you can also call your specific parish councilmember.  If you don't know who your Parish Councilmember is, go to the Jefferson Parish website and enter your house number and street WITHOUT street type (street, avenue, boulevard, place, etc.).  You'll be given your councilperson's name and district.  You can then click on that district on the left sidebar to be taken to your councilperson's bio, and their contact info is at the bottom of the page.

Jefferson Parish Council general line: (504) 736-6600

EXAMPLE: Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken, District 5:  (504) 736-6634

Reminders: Identify where you're calling from (town and zip code is fine) so they know you're an actual constituent.  Only call your own representatives.  Be concise - the office will get through more calls that way.  Be polite and don't argue with the staffer - they don't set policy.  If you get a voicemail, then leave a message.  And if you get a busy signal -- call back later!

Sample Script:

Hi, my name is [Name] from New Orleans, zip code 70118 [or wherever you're from].  I don't need a response. 

I'm calling to express my deep disappointment that President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.  Doing so is bad for jobs, bad for foreign policy, and of course bad for the environment.  I wanted to ask [the Governor/the State legislator/the Councilmember] to commit to upholding the tenets of the Paris Climate Agreement on a much more local level, in [Louisiana/Jefferson Parish], and to find out what you're doing to support efforts in [the state/your district] to combat climate change's effects on our state.

Thank you for your time and your hard work answering the phones.

* BONUS CALL:  If you live in New Orleans, call and thank Mayor Mitch Landrieu for committing to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement!

This call is courtesy of Metairie Indivisible.