Yesterday morning we arrived in DC after an overnight bus ride that left us all a little bleary-eyed, but no less excited to launch into our Power Shift weekend of leadership training, movement building, and climate policy immersion. For a primer on the ever-moving target of climate legislation and the role of regulatory agencies, we had the good fortune to meet with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Amy Salzman, Director of Policy Outreach, and Michelle Moore, the Federal Environmental Executive, met exclusively with our Unity College crowd to fill us in on the administration’s efforts in sustainability. The CEQ is essentially charged with three things: 1., advise the President on environmental matters, 2., uphold the National Environmental Policy Act, and 3., work across agencies and departments to advance the administration’s environmental agenda.
Our students had great questions about government agencies’ climate adaptation strategies, implications of environmental change for our food system, and the relationship between ocean health and climate stability. After our CEQ meeting, Unity’s own Amy Kennedy led our visiting crew on a tour of the Capitol before we strolled down the mall to the convention center — where more than 10,000 students have gathered for the conference this weekend. Stay tuned for updates from DC.