Jan 23

Taking it to the Streets!

In response to the Trump Administration’s anti-environmental policies, the Endangered Species Coalition has launched a grassroots initiative to fight back.  “Taking it to the Streets” aims to get more Americans to stand up, speak out, and take action!

We know that 90 percent of Americans support protections for threatened and endangered species. Yet many of the new policies coming out of the Department of the Interior under this Administration are decreasing protections for imperiled species. In fact, this Administration threatens to roll back some of the core safeguards and science under the Endangered Species Act. They are dismantling decades of hard-fought work and successes achieved under the Act.

We’ve heard from our activists and member groups who are ready to fight back. They need a forum to help them take action. “Taking it to the Streets” gives them that opportunity.

At the end of 2017, we hired a Senior Grassroots and Policy Advisor who is giving our grassroots member groups a greater voice in Washington, D.C., serving as a conduit with national decision makers, the Administration and our national partner groups. Working collaboratively with our grassroots groups, we’re not just connecting them to decision-makers, we’re giving them tools to empower them in the fight to protect endangered wildlife. And we’re connecting them to each other, so that they can leverage their strengths as a community. We are thrilled that Corry Westbrook–a powerhouse wildlife advocate–has joined our team to take on this role. Corry has advocated for the Endangered Species Act for almost two decades.

We’re also providing a megaphone to grassroots activists with our Lead Species Guardians and Emergency Response Teams programs. Lead Species Guardians are individuals who are organizing online and in their neighborhoods, towns, and states to get people to visit congressional offices, make phone calls, create petitions, hold events, write letters to the editor, and more. Emergency Response Teams are some of the volunteers that the Lead Species Guardians count on to take action. The Endangered Species Coalition has launched this program with Lead Species Guardians and Emergency Response Teams in several target states around the country. We’re ready to see it grow.

Our Regional Representatives and other field staff carrying are redoubling their community organizing efforts, specifically looking at new and innovative ways to give power to the people. They are located in the Pacific Northwest, California, Northern Rockies, Southern Rockies, and the Great Lakes. They’re finding and supporting the activists, grassroots groups, and spokespeople who want to do more for endangered wildlife.  

At each level, the Endangered Species Coalition is working with our activists, spokespeople, and member groups so that we can be “‘taking it to the streets.” Our tactics include efforts such as the Stop Extinction Challenge. In one month, this Challenge generated 3,514 congressional meeting requests by our activists in all 50 states. Our activists secured meetings in nearly 40% of the U.S. in just one month!

We’ll be rolling out additional opportunities, tools and suggestions for ways others can engage throughout the year. Stay -tuned!

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