LETTER TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVES

As we discuss energy use and climate change, it’s important to remember that we all have a
stake in what happens over the coming decades. We also all have power to help direct the
future, both through our actions as well as our voices.
In the US, your elected officials represent you at the state and national level and despite what
cynics may say, they do listen to their constituents (at least, those who make noise!). For this
assignment, you are going to craft a letter to your congressperson or senator to have your voice
be heard. You do not actually have to submit these letters although you certainly may if you
want to. In the letter, you should tell your representative what stance you would like to see
them take on the proposed ‘Green New Deal’.
For background, the Green New Deal is an ambitious package of proposals set out by newlyelected Democratic congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and others that aims to tackle
climate change and social inequality [1]. It proposes a massive jobs package in which
employment in the ‘green economy’ would be created to tackle the type of infrastructure
replacement required for a more sustainable future for the US while ensuring that under-served
segments of society who are currently struggling benefit from the associated growth. Critics of
the Green New Deal primarily cite the potential cost and risk involved in such dramatic overhaul
of the status quo [2, 3], however environmentalists and scientists point out that the risk of not
responding to the climate crisis and the cost of unmitigated climate change will be much, much
higher [4].
As we move into this year’s election, jobs and the environment will be central issues. Tell your
representative what you think they should do. You can argue that the Green New Deal is critical
for the climate or you can argue that complying with its requirements would be too onerous to
your community or perhaps your family’s livelihood. The catch? Your elected officials don’t have
time to read a research paper. They need a very concise and exquisitely crafted argument (no
more than ~1⁄2 – 3⁄4 of a page, single-spaced with 1-inch margins and 12 point font). There
is no space for figures and citations should be minimal and very carefully chosen if you are
going to use them at all (they are not required).
Letters are due by 5pm on Friday, March 13th. You can turn them in electronically on Canvas
or in hard copy to your TAs (use the drop boxes on the ground floor of EPS next to the
elevators). Good luck!
To address your letter, find your representatives here. If you are not a US citizen, you can still
write! Just use Davis as your hometown:
https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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