March 2, 2012
In the spring of 2006, my first experience with Sierra Club Lobby Day sharply--and probably permanently--changed the trajectory of my citizenship engagement. Intensely involved in political activism since the fall of 2003, I discovered in lobbying a new and compelling avenue to influence under the excellent leadership of former Chapter Legislative Director Gayle Miller. The opportunity to dig in, learn the issues, and deliver reliable information of real importance directly to decision makers--in a very focused manner--was both exhilarating and empowering, and it remains so.
I have participated in every Lobby Day since. The challenge has not diminished, for with experience comes new sensitivities to personal shortcomings and opportunities for improvement, and the stakes for our environment mount daily.
Shirley Kallio is a long-time Sierra Club member and volunteer with the West Michigan Group.