By Madison Mayhew, IPL Federal Policy Associate
For the first time in over two years, Interfaith Power & Light Network colleagues gathered for our national conference in Washington DC. After two days of information sharing, catching up with one another, and incredible workshops led by our colleagues, we made our way to Capitol Hill for our lobby day.
After more than two years of closing offices to the public, Congress had officially re-opened their doors just in time for our visits. It was a learning experience for us all, especially after a rhythm of virtual meetings. Due to heightened security after the attack on the Capitol in 2021 and the complications of the pandemic, we were escorted by staffers upon entering and leaving office buildings.
Despite the added security measures, it was the busiest I’ve seen Capitol Hill in a long time, which was encouraging. It was great to see school groups, lobby groups and individuals all hustling around various offices, returning life back to the hill after a long period of virtual and remote work.
We were lobbying on three priorities – the Reconciliation package (the bill formerly known as Build Back Better), the Recovering America’s Wildlife Bill (RAWA) and International Climate Finance. During our meetings we provided background on IPL, our network of affiliates, and the moral grounding of our faith that drives our work on climate advocacy. It was wonderful to meet new staff, while re-connecting with longtime allies and supporters as well.
I had the pleasure to accompany our CA-IPL staff to several meetings, which I enjoyed very much. Meeting with congressional staff and sharing our vision as faithful climate lobbyists reminded me why this work matters and why it’s so meaningful.