One of the aims of California Interfaith Power and Light is to educate its member congregations and individuals on pressing legislation and initiatives before our federal, state, and citizen voters. Contrary to what many believe, faith traditions hold action in the social sphere as an important tenet. Bringing the religious beliefs of respect and dignity of Creation, work for the common good, and community empowerment into society is yet another form of religious expression, one which, when done well, strengthens society as a whole and builds relationships among diverse groups.
Interfaith Power & Light’s Policy on Clean Energy Issues: California Interfaith Power & Light, as part of the IPL national network, holds certain positions on specific issues, such as nuclear energy, coal and energy efficiency. Click here to read about IPL’s Clean Energy Agenda and more.
Highlights from 2014 Sacramento Lobby Day
On Wednesday June 25th more than 30 lay and clergy leaders from across California gathered in Sacramento for California Interfaith Power & Light’s Annual Lobby Day, our largest delegation as of yet. We talked with policy makers about critically important legislation dealing with renewable energy, natural gas leakage, and clean transportation. Member congregation representatives came from across the state of California, as far away as La Puente and Chino Hills in the south and Sonoma County in the north, ages 19 to 91. Advocates included members of Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Unitarian and Christian communities.
Lobby Day began with an orientation held at St. John’s Lutheran Church just blocks away from the State Capital where advocates were welcomed by Sacramento colleagues, Mark Carlson of The Lutheran Office of Public Policy and Betsy Reifsnider of St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church. After an opening prayer led by Interfaith Power & Light founder and president, The Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, advocates heard from Nidia Baptista who spoke about SB 1204, a bill encouraging investment in zero or near-zero trucks and buses, and SB 1275, which aims to put 1,000,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2023. Dan Jacobson of Green California spoke about AB 2145 a bill CIPL opposes, which would make it more difficult for communities to implement local clean energy programs. Dina Biscotti from BlueGreen Alliance spoke about impending threats to California’s landmark 2006 green house gas emissions legislation. Advocates then broke into 8 groups and attended meetings with 59 senate and Assembly Member offices. The day ended with an informal gathering and debrief at a nearby restaurant.
The faith community’s voice is critical in the fight to protect creation and to reduce the effects of global warming. In their meetings with legislators, people of faith spoke about their actions to lower their carbon footprint and how their concern for vulnerable communities, who suffer disproportionally from climate change, motivates their environmental advocacy. Though Lobby Day 2014 is officially behind us, California Interfaith Power & Light will be continuing advocacy for priority legislation through the legislative session and through regional gatherings in Los Angeles and Richmond, California.