The Skywriter

"The Storm" hits Senate offices in Arkansas

30
Mar

"The Storm" hits Senate offices in Arkansas

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By Ryan Denham, 1Sky organizer in Arkansas. -- Luis

Last Friday, 1Sky Arkansas, allies, and supporters "stormed" Senator Blanche Lincoln and Senator Mark Pyror's Little Rock offices as part of a nationally coordinated series of events across the country. Arkansas groups like Sierra Club, the OMNI Center and The Village Commons helped promote this event and bring out volunteers. The storm symbolized the potential unchecked effects of climate change and why it is so important to protect the Clean Air Act. Dressed up in rainstorm attire, we stood in front of Senator Lincoln's Office holding signs, umbrellas and signs chanting "Clean Energy Now". (See video and pics from this event below.)

I was happy to see a TV news station car pull up at the very beginning of our rally. He filmed us from across the street and then interviewed me while I held an umbrella with all our supporters at my back. The coverage aired on the 5, 6 and 10 pm newscasts.

After our group of a couple dozen stood outside Lincoln's office for nearly an hour, we proceeded to the front door to begin our storm. We were buzzed in and our entire group flooded the small lobby in the converted Victorian style home. This was probably the first time a group of folks have walked into her Senate office with ponchos, rain jackets and umbrellas on a beautiful sunny day. The staffers in the office looked a little confused and surprised to see us dressed up. We presented the staff with Clean Air Act commitment letters and a copy of the book "Storms of My Grandchildren". We expressed our frustration about how Senator Lincoln was co sponsoring the Murkowski Resolution, or as we call it the "Dirty Air Act". It seemed as if the staff was tired of hearing this nickname. And I suspect that our earlier 72-hour phonebanking efforts (which produced hundreds of phone calls from constituents around the state), could be credited from slamming their office with calls about how important the Clean Air Act is to climate change legislation.

We then made our way down to Senator Mark Pyror's office a few blocks away. His office was located in more urban environment in a bigger office building. We got many confused looks from pedestrians and drivers as to why we were dressed for a monsoon on a cloudless day. As we walked up the four flights of stairs in the open atrium of the building, many employees peered at us through their interior windows. We turned the hallway corner and approached the office entrance and were quickly buzzed in. Nearly ten 1Sky supporters stormed his tiny office lobby and approached the glassed in window to talk to a staffer. We could see the smiling expressions of his staff, as they too were very surprised by our outfits.

Everyone really had a fun time participating in this themed event, and I think the Senate office staff appreciated our creativity. From the Beach Party Rally, Clean Energy Express and the Senate office Storm, I've especially enjoyed working with 1Sky on these unique events that are coordinated and planned on a national level.

 

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