Student Organizing in Texas
A critical mass is forming on the issue of a clean air and energy future, and students are in the vanguard of that movement. People from all walks of life are organizing and calling for change, and our decision-makers are beginning to take notice. Still, it is unclear who will be the winners and losers, and Texas’ fate hangs in the balance.
Our goal is to engage a new generation of students to promote the transition towards a clean air and clean energy economy.
In the summer of 2007, Public Citizen, along with the Sierra Student Coalition and National Wildlife Federation, helped form ReEnergize Texas to spark a youth climate movement statewide.
What is ReEnergize Texas?
ReEnergize Texas is a coalition of students who represent more than 20 university and high school campuses across the Lone Star State fighting against climate change and for the promise of a green economy. We have central staff on duty to assist young people and student groups who want to get active on their campuses and/or in their communities. The work of Re-Energize Texas is focused on four strategic areas: campuses, communities, corporate practices, and politics. The network operates under the principles of anti-oppression and environmental justice.
The ReEnergize Texas regional coalition unites a diversity of students and youth leaders in an alliance that supports and strengthens the student and youth climate movement in Texas. The members of Re-Energize Texas work together to leverage our collective power and create change for energy solutions that are safe, clean, efficient, renewable and just.
We envision a future and a planet that are both sustainable and equitable.
81st Texas Legislature (January-June 2009)
- Organized lobby visits and hearing testimony during the 81st Legislative Session, targeting key members and committees on legislation including
- Green Jobs Training Programs
- Distributed Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
- Sustainable Youth Program to provide at-risk youth with green job training and while completing high school
- Enlisted support from campuses all over Texas, getting students from El Paso, College Station, San Antonio, McAllen, Houston, and many other locations to call members and send letters on specific legislation
- Passed the “Green Fee Bill” which will give student bodies the option to create an environmental service fee and is projected to raise millions of dollars for campus sustainability through 2015
ReEnergize Texas Summit II (March 2009)
- Registered 170 Texas student leaders for the 2nd annual ReEnergize Texas Summit
- Offered trainings on leadership development and media relations by Sierra Student Coalition trainers, as well as workshops on current issues in the movement such as “The Myth of Clean Coal” and “The Real Cost of Nuclear” by area experts
- Brought speakers such as US Representative Lloyd Doggett and Dr. Robert Bullard, “Father of Environmental Justice”
- Organized a ReEnergize Texas Rally and subsequent Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol where students from across the state lobbied Texas Representatives and Senators concerning environmental legislation
Power Vote 2008 (August-November 2008)
- Gathered more than 10,000 signed pledges from students on Texas campuses to vote for candidates who championed clean energy solutions to the climate crisis
- Engaged local and state candidates through video interviews posted to our website
Presidents’ Climate Commitment Tour (April 2008)
- Engaged 7 campuses on the ACUPCC
- Brought Michelle McKay, Vice President of Second Nature, to speak with top campus administrators
- Ultimately contributed to the signing of commitments on 3 Texas campuses
Student Organizing Links
ReEnergize Texas - Texas coalition of students who represent more than 20 university and high school campuses across the Lone Star State fighting against climate change and for the promise of a green economy.
Sierra Student Coalition - National network of student environmental groups. Student wing of the Sierra Coalition.
Campus Ecology - National Wildlife Federation - The National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology® program promotes climate leadership and sustainability among colleges and universities by providing resources and technical support, creating networking opportunities and organizing education events.