Youth for a Safe Water & Climate Future amplifies the voices of youth in watershed and energy policy issues since 2003. Improving public speaking skills, story-telling abilities, and persuasive ways to turn any reliable data into information is learned and practiced in order to do presentations. Students learn to write persuasive letters, send factually based emails, create social posts to advocate for changes in their communities and the state. Creating civic pathways for them to employ their desire for action inspires youth to continue this work. They are validated and inspired to see the how their voices have an impact for laws related to protecting water and addressing the climate crisis. And they also see how they can reveal to others not just what climate change is doing to the New Mexico, but ways to do something about it!
We bring over 150 youth each year to the New Mexico Legislature to speak about issues they care about, including securing a safe water and climate future and would like to double that in 3-5 years. Many more students also make presentations in their local communities or at a Watershed Congress at the end of the school year.
Teachers, we ask your students to:
- Prepare 2 or 3 questions to ask policy makers at the 10-12am forum on January 31st on water, energy and environmental issues.
- Find who are their local Senate and House representatives, how to reach them by phone, email and their office locations in the legislature.
- Research what bills their representatives have introduced and/or sponsored (signed on to an already introduced bill) both related to water and not related to water.
- Write a letter to their representatives on a water issue or any other issue the youth care about. The letter can address:
- proposed legislation the representative will vote on any topic the student chooses.
- concerns about streams, wet areas (including farm land), and lakes the students know and want to protect.
- suggestions for safeguarding existing environmental protections by state agencies.
We suggest all teachers contact your representatives and/or their staff personally to let them know that you are coming. You may ask your legislator to meet with them to ask questions of them directly during the afternoon of February 10 – this can be very exciting for the students. All teachers that have requested meetings in the past have been received by their legislators for at least a brief talk with students.
Youth for a Safe Water & Climate Future Documents