Bike, Hike, Act on Climate!

Jennifer and an activist call for climate action
Jennifer (on the right) and a GA-7 activist call for climate action

Meet Jennifer! As our new Clean Water Associate she is spearheading our work to get lead out of school drinking water and, as a native of Gwinnett County, she is leading our work to promote smart green policies in the federal infrastructure and ‘Build Back Better Budget.’ Below she shares some of the stories from her efforts to bike, hike and act on climate!

Jennifer graduated from GSU with a B.A. magna cum laude in Geosciences and a Political Science minor. Jennifer loves spending time with her family at the park, exploring new places and serving her community. Welcome Jennifer!

Jennette Gayer, Enviornment Georgia Director

 Bike, Hike, Act on Climate in GA-07 

A few weeks ago, Environment Georgia launched a push to build support for strong climate action in the federal infrastructure and ‘Build Back Better Budget’ in my very own congressional district, GA-07. Our push for strong climate action in Georgia’s 7th district hits close to home as I was raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, one of many cities in GA-07.

I’ve lived in Georgia’s 7th district my entire life and have so many great memories of a childhood spent outside–from playing soccer at Bethesda Park to participating in clean-ups with Berkmar High School. Appreciating how much my experiences in our environment influenced me as a young girl drives home the need for real investments today in a greener and healthier community.

Our work comes  as the U.S House of Representatives is poised to vote on two large bills from the American Jobs Plan. The bills are the American Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act known as the ‘Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill’ and the Build Back Better Act (also known as the reconciliation bill). Both bills contain climate investments that are essential to tackling and building resilience to climate change in our community. 

If passed, the bills will provide investments such as:

  • $11 billion for road safety programs to minimize the rate of accidents and fatalities for commuters, especially cyclists and pedestrians. Expanding and connecting communities through street grids, parks and greenways. 

  • $39 billion to invest in improving and expanding transit infrastructure, technology and accessibility to new communities. This includes grants for national rail services and corridor expansions, intercity rail services and high speed rail improvements. 

  • $350 million for wildlife corridors to ensure animals safely migrate, mate and maintain biodiversity around interstate highways and roads. 

  • The creation of a Civilian Climate Corps that will supply jobs for a diverse group of Americans to engage in preservation and restoration projects in the United States. With the majority of projects in vulnerable, low-income communities of color. 

  • The distribution of block grants to municipalities and districts for local climate projects 

Now is the time to pursue big and bold climate investments in Georgia’s 7th congressional district. According to a recent Environment Georgia survey, 67-70% of voters in the district support the American Jobs Plan, 82% of voters support investments to rebuild roads and modernize public transportation and 73% of voters in the district support investing in mass transit to reduce air and climate pollution.

In the first month of our campaign, we talked to local bicycle shop owners, met up with a group of local cyclists and visited the Suwanee Creek Greenway, one of the most well-known greenways in the district. At every location we went to, we gathered petition signatures and photo petitions from all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts in support of climate action. Specifically, the climate provisions included in both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Act. At the end of the month, Environment Georgia interns and staff visited Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux’s office to deliver petitions from voters in her district calling on her to #ActNow on climate and support the investments offered by the American Jobs Plan.

The district’s suburban challenges–abundant green space and diverse and growing cities highlight its potential to put climate investments to good use. Our campaign seeks to garner support for such climate investments and highlight how they can drive reductions in harmful emissions, expand outdoor recreation opportunities and ensure future generations have a stable climate. Georgia’s 7th district comes together to Bike, Hike and Act on Climate!

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Jennifer Duenas

Clean Water Associate, Environment Georgia

Jennifer works to protect clean water with Environment Georgia. Jennifer lives in Georgia, where she loves reading, volunteering in her community, and spending time with her family at the park.

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