Educate your newly-elected officials

College Park, MD (January 11, 2011)- The 112th Congress includes 94 new members, who are now beginning to represent their constituencies in Washington for the first time. Other local races carried new leaders to office at the state, county, and local levels. Take some time now to learn who your new elected officials are, and begin to educate them about the importance of urban greening.

Many new elected officials may be unfamiliar with your work, and with the work of urban forestry or nonprofits more generally. Now is the time to schedule meetings with officials and their staffers, to introduce them to your organization and the work you do to improve your district.
Rather than ask for specific legislation, you can begin by explaining the ways that trees and green infrastructure improvements benefit your district. Focus on job creation, public health, and economic benefits like lower energy usage and stormwater management cost savings.
Be sure to cite specific examples of the good work you have done in your community, highlighting the impacts on the elected official’s constituents. Take advantage of research and available resources to back up your stories, and print them out to give to staffers as leave-behinds with more information.
Related Resources:
Find your Congressional Representatives
ACT Tree Fact Sheets
Human Dimensions of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening

Green Cities: Good Health