From the Magazine Magazine

You may be wondering how your advocacy can have more impact, but aren’t sure how. We can help you with that.

Audubon has shared a passion for birds with its members for decades, together creating lasting conservation change. The banning of DDT and the enactment of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—the oldest and best bird law in the world—are both the result of grassroots organizing by people like you who wanted to make the world better for birds. And thanks to Audubon’s dedicated bird advocates in Arkansas, South Carolina, and Washington, we have three brand new statewide clean energy bills on the books.

You may be wondering how your advocacy can have more impact—working with your local lawmakers and other municipal organizations to protect birds and the places they need—but aren’t sure how to do it. We can help with that.

Across the country, we’ve been training people to become super advocates—constituents who can talk with their legislators confidently and present the facts on behalf of birds. People like Mary Abrams. After she retired from a career of service in the armed forces, Abrams knew her next phase needed to involve making a difference for the environment. And so, when it was time to find a group with whom to work, Abrams looked up local Audubon chapters in North Carolina. She joined Wake Audubon in 2017, and in the same year became an Audubon ambassador.

Through training coordinated by Audubon, Abrams understood that her love of service, military experience, and passion for birds and the outdoors were all interconnected. Today Abrams channels this enthusiasm and knowledge from the training into planning events for her chapter, taking local officials on bird walks, and organizing meetings with and letters to lawmakers.

Abrams isn’t the only superstar in North Carolina, either. With training facilitated by Audubon and two local chapters, young conservation leaders from the University of North Carolina Asheville, Appalachian State University, Lees-McRae College, and Duke University urged lawmakers to increase conservation funding, manage land for wildlife, control invasive threats, expand bird-friendly clean energy, and safeguard the state’s coast. For many of them, it was their first experience lobbying. After attending lobby day, Kristin Anderson, an environmental studies major at UNC Asheville and president of the university’s campus Audubon chapter, says that she now better understands how her current environmental focus connects to her interest in political science. “I have always been tangentially interested in [politics], but now there is more of a drive to advocate because of my passion for the environment,” Anderson says. “It was much less intimidating than I thought, and I will definitely do this again.”

I’ve heard stories like these from across our network: People who never thought they’d do something like lobbying end up talking with their state legislators about conservation—and they tell me Audubon gave them the tools and confidence to make their voices heard. If you’re ready to take that next step—and I think many of you are—go to the Audubon action network to learn more.

This story originally ran in the Summer 2019 issue. To receive our print magazine, become a member by making a donation today.

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