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Environmental Voter Day-Tuesday, May 26

This past Tuesday, May 26 was the Environmental Voter Day, where environmentalist alike came out to show support for our beautiful environment and landscape we have here in Louisiana, and lobby for the bills that will affect our great state.

The day started off with Kathleen Spencer with Center for Planning Excellence.  She explained the many details that go along with urban and rural planning, and how to better the environment when planning subdivisions, schools, urban facilities and much more.  The next speaker was Stephen Cheatham with The Recycling Foundation.  He explained the benefits of recycling and how our economy has hurt, but not hindered the recycling business.  The next presenter was a representative from Repower America.  She explained the goal of Repower America, and talked about how we can make a difference by voting and supporting the bill for Climate Change. 

We had a quick break, and were back on the floor to talk about the solar bills with Cece Hyslop with LSES, Ann Shaneyfelt with Gulf South Solar, and Troy Von Otnott with South Coast Solar.  We discussed the 13 bills for solar and green jobs, and explained the negatives and positives of each.  LSES also brought a list of the solar bills, with a brief description of each and which ones LSES supports and doesn't support. 

The next speaker was Secretary William Ankner with DOTD, he came out to discuss with us the future planning for Baton Rouge and New Orleans and all of Louisiana, and how we can make this a more road and highway friendly place to live.  He talked heavily of a metro that would commute people to and from Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  This metro would not only make it cheaper to travel between the two cities, but it would be less harmful on the environment to travel on the metro than by plane or car.

At this time we were able to take a lunch break and chat with the attendees while eating jambalaya and white beans.  After lunch we met again briefly with Darrell Hunt, Sierra Club lobbyist, and Kathy Wascom, with LEAN about the environmental bills up in the session, and lobbying 101.

After all the presenters, we were ready to use our skills and knowledge we obtained from the morning and talk to our Representatives and Senators about the environmental bills and what we support and don't support.  We made it to the Capital in the 2nd line parade with jazz band John Grey. 

The day was a great success, we were able to learn about all the environmental issues that are happening in the state and learn how to lobby and speak to Representatives and Senators about our opinions.  The only set back we had was that Environmental Voter Day was on the same day as the Republican's golf tournament, so we weren't able to talk to all the the Reps we had planned on.  But not too worry, there are plans for another day when we can all go back to the Capital and speak to the Reps when they are all in attendance.  If you are interested in going out on that day email