Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania
Semester: Spring 2023
Praxis Course: POLS 420 Praxis Fieldwork Seminar: Politics, Policy, and Power
Faculty Advisor: Marissa Golden
Field Site: Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania
Field Supervisor: Katie Blume
Praxis Poster:Final_Tatiana_Ahmad_POLS_Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania
This semester I worked with Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania (CVPA), a political organization that works to elect environmentally responsible candidates to state and local office, hold those elected officials responsible for their environmental pledges, advocate for strong environmental policies state-wide, and strengthen laws that safeguard the health of our communities, the beauty of our state, and our economic future. My work primarily focused on writing comments for various comment periods. For example, I wrote an “action-alert intake form” for the Reconsideration of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. Particulate matter is miniscule particles which are suspended in and saturate the atmosphere. It can cause severe and long term health problems if inhaled.
My job was to outline the proposed regulation to educate the public on the matter, and urge the responsible parties (the EPA/Administrator Regan in the case of particulate matter) to respond according to public and environmental interests. Once the comment is completed, it is submitted to Regulations.gov where anyone can view the submitted public comments. What makes CVPA such an important organization is its commitment to environmental justice. As any environmentalist or environmental scientist will tell you, climate change will always disproportionately impact poor communities of color. However, many environmental organizations will either ignore or plainly acknowledge environmental justice concerns. CVPA holds environmental justice as a pillar of their political strategy. For example, every comment submitted by CVPA will have a designated section of the submission dedicated to the diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) implications.
I was very fortunate to have an internship experience with an extremely supportive and communicative staff. I met with multiple staff members individually to collaborate on work and attended one full staff meeting. CVPA helped me form a deeper understanding of the local political network and the methods by which any person can participate in politics and influence decisions that are important to them and their values.