Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JUNE 16, 2011 7:20 AM

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Power Shift 2011 not just a fling

When 35 University of Iowa students and I, from differing backgrounds but with a cohesive passion for sustainability, returned from our five-day trip to Washington, D.C., for the Power Shift 2011 grass-roots organizing convention, we had to start cramming for final projects and exams. Now, four weeks into the summer break, there has remained a grand energy among us scattered “Power Shifters.” Many of us are working with students from other Iowa schools as well. Let me just mention a few of our roots.

Food & Water Watch is an area of active interest of several of us that are lobbying against Big Agriculture and for small farmers and access to good and fair food.

Summer of Solutions in Iowa City is stimulating K-6 green education, promoting daily-life sustainable practices, and working on installing solar panels — all in Iowa City schools and our community.

Student leaders on campus also returned from the convention with motivation to strengthen the connections between students and our community with respect to environmental stewardship.

Personally, I am inspired by my experience at the state-break-out conclusion of the convention, in which we met an Iowa Sierra Student Coalition organizer. I have since teamed with other Iowa regents’ university students to expand our relationship with the Sierra Club. We are cooperatively re-energizing Campuses Beyond Coal in Iowa, a campaign to gather student and community voice to pressure leaders to step up climate efforts on campus and remain leading institutions.

Power Shift 2011 was grass-roots-organizing training that sowed seeds for growing activism in Iowa, and they are beginning to sprout. All of us are working for the betterment of our communities; so please support us as we work to support you, our community.

Zach Carter
UI junior

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