March 16, 2009
Luther students Reed and Sushilkumar attend Power Shift 2009
Luther juniors Brandon Reed and Karishma Sushilkumar joined a political actions coalition of 11,000 students in Washington, D.C. Feb. 27-March 2 for Power Shift 2009, a conference to lobby Congress to take immediate action against climate disruption.
Power Shift, coordinated by the Energy Action Coalition, is a weekend conference of lobbying, panel discussions and concerts, all informing and encouraging lawmakers to take action against global warming. Keynote speakers included Majora Carter and Van Jones.
“The energy at the conference was invigorating and inspiring,” said Reed. “We walked away from the conference rejuvenated and excited to share our experiences and ideas with the Luther community.”
The goals of the Power Shift conference were to urge the new administration and Congress to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation, to prepare leaders for the international climate negotiations in December 2009 and to develop a strategy to keep political pressure on lawmakers to protect the environment.
Reed, a senior political science and economics major from St. Louis Park, Minn., and Sushilkumar, a senior economics and management major from Mumbai, India, met with other students from Iowa Colleges at the conference to brainstorm state-wide initiatives to address global warming issues. The students plan to establish an Iowa climate network of colleges and universities that could collaborate to address Iowa climate issues.
Power Shift has gained national interest and the attention of many influential people, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S.
nvironmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Carol Browner, the president’s assistant for energy and climate change.
According to the Power Shift website, the number of participants in Power Shift has more than doubled since the first conference in 2007. The campaign has steadily gained momentum through the Campus Climate Challenge and the electoral engagement campaign, Power Vote.
The Power Vote campaign collected 341,127 pledges from citizens to vote and demand lawmakers create green jobs, invest in a clean energy economy, cut global warming pollution and end dependence on dirty energy.