Engaging our political leaders is a key thing we can do for our kids. You don't need to be an export on climate science or policy to meet with your elected officials. You just have to speak from the heart, ask questions and share your concerns as a parent or grandparent. It's your super power!
Elected officials aren't used to hearing directly from parents and grandparents about climate, so your correspondence will stand out. It's also their job to connect with their constituents. So it's a great place to learn what policies exist, practice voicing our concerns and ask for accelerated climate action. You can also adapt this action to other elected officials - municipal, provincial or school-board trustees.
2. Send them a personal email or phone their office and ask to leave them a message.
You could also co-write a letter with other parents/grandparents in your riding or your For Our Kids team for a bigger impact. Template letters or scripts help make things quick, but we've heard that unique correspondence has a bigger impact.
3. It helps us to track who's taking action. CC: us on your emails or send us a scan/photo of any handwritten communication: [email protected].
Not Sure What To Say?
Here are some ideas:
- introduce yourself and your family (or group), let them know you are their constituent (living in their riding)
- if you've met formally with them before, remind them what you met about
- speak from the heart and share your concern about your kids' future
- ask them what climate actions and policy their working on
- offer to work with them on that action
- ask them how they're addressing inequity - we know that women, children, low-income and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) families are harmed most by fossil fuel pollution & climate impacts like heatwaves, extreme weather and poor air quality
- invite them to meet with you and/or a group of parents in your riding
- Let them know you're paying attention and monitoring their climate commitments.
- Send them the latest copy of the IPCC report (in case they haven't had a chance to read it yet).
- Send them a hand-written note or hand-drawn picture from your child (older kids can add their own thoughts!) to remind them of your concerns and their commitments (send us a scan/photo to [email protected] so we can share the inspiration with the network).
Most important: Don't give up! MPs receive a heavy volume of correspondence, so it's likely you may not hear from them right away. Set a reminder in your calendar to follow up on a regular basis, restating all the points above. You could also include positive reinforcement if they've taken actions that show they're committed to a more sustainable and equitable future; if their actions demonstrate the opposite, point that out and let them know that's not what you expect from your elected representative. Here are more tips from two mothers active in For Our Kids teams:
As always, sharing your actions will inspire others to do the same, so tell your friends or share posts about it on social media, and let us know at [email protected].
Get inspired! Check out how For Our Kids teams have been engaging their MPs:
- Strengthening Bill C-12 - now Canada's Climate Accountability Act
- Working for a Just Transition from fossil fuels
- Meeting with the Minister of Climate Change and the Environment