Lobby Day in Harrisburg

Written on: June 27, 2017

Lobbying can be a big business and as such often is on what social justice people might call the “wrong side” of an issue. But not always! On June 20, Sisters Diane Bardol, Bridget Connor, Pat Kelly and Mary Salvador joined a group of about 150 others in Harrisburg to lobby for Climate and Clean Air. PennEnvironment organized the event. They made appointments for us to meet with our state senators. Our Bustleton office zip code was used to place us with Senators Martina White and John Sabatina.  

View Pictures Here!

The agenda for this meeting was four fold:

  1. Ask them to co-sponsor SB 234 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) which would help businesses install clean energy, and/or invest in making their buildings more energy efficient.
  2. Co-sponsor Solar Jobs Bill, SB404 that would help more Pennsylvanians install solar on their homes, ensuring more clean energy
  3. Co-sponsor Fontana/Costa Climate Legislation that would help ensure Pennsylvania meets the Paris climate agreement by reducing power plant pollution by 32% by 2030.
  4. Oppose attacks on limiting methane pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. In PA this drilling is responsible for the same amount of climate pollution as 660,000cars.

A young man from the area was also with us. When he discovered that we were Catholic Sisters he was totally delighted that sisters were involved, being an active Catholic himself!

Our meetings with each Senator were very gratifying. David Masur, Executive Director of PennEnvironment, came with us to our meeting with Senator White because she had a reputation of being a “hard sell” on environmental issues. However, we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of time she spent with us wanting to learn all she could about our position.

A staff person from PennEnvironment came with us to our meeting with Senator Sabatina who has a voting record that is on the side of environmental protection. He also invested quality time with us wanting to learn more about these bills. He stated that he was “99%” certain that he would give his support to the bills we were promoting.

When there is another opportunity to lobby I will make it known and hopefully others will consider joining. It’s very important to know that you do not have to be an expert on the issue. What is needed is a passion for the issue stemming from your faith and moral sense. That’s what we bring to the table that makes the difference.


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