My home state of Virginia contains a diverse political spectrum. The northern part of the state borders Washington, D.C. and houses many government employees. This wealthy, northern region is heavily blue and contributes to Virginia’s recent turn to a “blue” state. However, driving through the rest state tells a different story. I was met with Trump signs on every major road in my return home for last year’s Thanksgiving. Trump’s message resonants with large portions of the state, including my hometown.
Environmental policy must free itself from politics in order to be fully embraced in Virginia. Volatile phrases like “climate change” should not be the face of policy initiatives in today’s Virginia, as Catherine Flowers so brilliantly discovered in Alabama. My policy initiative would move to educate both children and grown citizens about their dependence on our powerful planet and their responsibility to protect it.
I still remember learning about the responsibilities of a citizen in my fifth-grade civics class. My teacher emphasized the need to uphold practices that keep the general public safe. Our duty as citizens, even at a young age, was to maintain the laws of the land for the common good. Preserving the safety of the planet must become a part of this civic duty. My policy would promote the teaching of land protection, but not in the sense of Manifest Destiny. Rather than focusing on the right of individuals to own land, I would build a sense of duty to protect that land.