Students take to the (virtual) Capitol

Every term, students participating in our on-campus leadership program learn valuable civic engagement and advocacy skills. In the past two weeks students advocated for higher education affordability and clean energy at the federal and state level.

At CALPIRG’s annual National Lobby Day student leaders (virtually) went to the Capitol to get Congress to better support students and double Pell Grant funding.

Students organized at their campuses to collect petitions in support of the #DoublethePell campaign to double the maximum Pell Grant, and we delivered all those signatures to legislators and their staff. We also shared personal stories that illustrated the immediate impact Congressional reinvestments in the Pell Grant financial aid program would have, and advocated for increased funding for emergency students grants. In all, we met with over 75 offices.

In the past, our National Lobby Days have resulted in Congress approving a $5 million program to support open textbooks in the federal budget each year, and getting small annual increases to the maximum Pell Grant.

UCR CALPIRG and student government leaders meeting with Rep. Roybal-Allard’s office.

Then, last week over 200 CALPIRG leaders met virtually with over 70 California legislators at our California Student Clean Energy Lobby Day to advocate for climate solutions.

In our state we have seen record breaking wildfires and and temperatures, while across the country in places like Texas there have been catastrophic freezing temperatures. We know that we need to take action now to stop the worst effects of climate change by switching from dirty energy sources like coal and oil and towards 100% clean renewable energy.

Students represented our 35,000 UC members at meetings with legislators and their aides and advocated in support of bills to increase offshore wind and access to solar power. The all-day event also included a youth climate action panel, a virtual climate rally, multiple expert panels, and a screening of the film “2040.”

Our leaders also met with Governor Newsom’s climate advisor to turn over 18,000 petition signatures in support of speeding up California’s transition to 100% clean electricity. 

CALPIRG student leaders meet with Hazel Miranda, Director of the Office of Governmental Affairs at California Public Utilities Commission, to deliver 18,000 petitions in support of clean energy by 2030.

We are excited to continue to make sure students stay civically engaged and that their voices are being heard in the halls of power on the important issues of our time.