2021 General Assembly Environmental Action Series

Environment Virginia plans to start this year off right by gathering our supporters to join our General Assembly Action Series.

Environment Virginia plans to start this year off right by gathering our supporters to join our General Assembly Action Series. The 2021 Virginia General Assembly convenes on Jan. 13th for a thirty-day session. Over the course of the next five weeks, we need to amplify as many voices as possible to make sure our legislature champions the environment. We’ll be driving weekly tactics to get the attention of our General Assembly members. Our elected officials need to see the public support behind a zero carbon transportation future and putting wildlife over waste by reducing plastic pollution. 

Each week we will host a zoom/facebook live event to discuss different ways to get involved during the session. If you cannot join us, we will add info on each of these tactics so you can take action on your own. 

Week One: Message to your legislator – Thursday, Jan. 7th

Before session gets underway, we’re calling on state legislators to pass the Advanced Clean Cars program. We can’t ignore the signs of climate change as Virginia already faces sea level rise and increased flooding on our coastlines. We are looking for Virginians to send the General Assembly a message: Virginia’s due for a zero carbon upgrade.

Send your state senator a message in support of electric transportation and a zero carbon future.

Legislators need to here from YOU! Feel free to use the default language or take the time to write about why this issue matters to you. Climate? Health? Consumer choice? There are so many reasons we need Advanced Clean Car Standards, tell your Delegate and Senator why they are important to you.

Week Two: Photo Petitions for Clean Cars- Thursday, Jan. 14th at 6pm 

Join us on Zoom or Facebook to learn more about clean cars in Virginia and how we can use photo petitions to put a face to the people that care about clean cars and climate in Virginia.

Transportation is Virginia’s #1 source of carbon pollution. We cannot avoid the worst impacts of climate change without changing the way we get around. In this legislative session, we have the opportunity to become the next state to adopt the Advanced Clean Cars program. This program will give Virginians access to electric vehicles while reducing the pollution that comes from our cars.

We are collecting photo petitions to deliver to our elected officials in support of advanced clean car standards. Photo petitions are a highly effective grassroots tool for building a buzz and presenting public support behind an issue. Sharing photos in support of a cause creates a bigger impact because it puts a face to the fight, in this case the fight for clean cars.

We’re asking each of you to join us by submitting photo petitions on the issue. You can even engage your loved ones at home by making posters and taking pictures with your friends, family, or even your pets!

This event has passed but you can still participate. Check out our blog on how to guide for photo petitions and where to submit your own! 

Week Three: Wildlife Over Waste Letters to our Legislators- Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6pm

As we near the halfway point of the 2021 Virginia General Assembly, we’re calling on our legislators to put wildlife over waste by passing a statewide ban on polystyrene foam, HB 1902. For week 3 of the General Assembly Action Series, you’re invited to our Wildlife Over Waste Letters to Legislators event on Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m.

Everyday people throw away tons of single-use cups, containers and other plastic “stuff.” Among the worst forms of plastic pollution is polystyrene foam (the stuff most of us call Styrofoam), which never fully degrades. Polystyrene foam breaks apart easily, but it persists in the environment in tiny particles—and every bit of it ever made is still out there and could continue to threaten wildlife for hundreds of years to come.

Join us in taking action by sending a letter in support of HB 1902 to your state senator! 

Handwritten letters can be effective because they are personal, and are read often by legislators. The goal here, beyond asking a legislator to support HB 1902, should be to include a personal story or anecdote to give some context. Maybe you grew up near the ocean or a river that you loved, or traveled to a beautiful natural area that has really stayed with you. Maybe you connect with a particular animal species affected by plastic pollution or you’re just tired of seeing plastic everywhere! Whatever personal connection you may have, embrace it and use it to help communicate your appeal! Just remember, in this case, to ask your state senator to support the ban on polystyrene foam.

Can’t make the event? Check out our blog for our full guide on how to write letters to your legislator and let us know if you take action.

Week Four: Social Media Day of Action – Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.

Our General Assembly is moving forward on the statewide ban on polystyrene foam, HB 1902. As the bill goes to the Senate chamber, we’re going to continue our grassroots effort to support the bill during Week 4 of the General Assembly Action Series! You’re invited to our Wildlife Over Waste Social Media Week of Action event on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.

Register has closed. Please join on Facebook Live for the event. 

We’re confident that we can push this bill over the finish line, but we need to show our legislators the broad public support behind going foam free. This week we will be posting on social media to urge our state senators to vote yes on the bill.

Social media is a primary way to communicate with our decision makers. Since the General Assembly is virtual, and our legislators are working in a primarily virtual setting, social media is a strong grassroots tool we can use to advocate for wildlife over waste.

Can’t make the event? Check our blog with our social media toolkit for this week’s social media week of action! 

Week Five: How to Reach Your Legislator – Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m.

Thank you for tuning into the General Assembly Action Series during the first five weeks of the legislative session! Both the bill to ban polystyrene foam cups and food containers and the bill to pass Advanced Clean Car Standards have moved on to the Senate chamber. We know our work on the environment doesn’t stop here, especially in the few weeks left of the General Assembly.

To wrap up our action series, you’re invited to the How to Reach Your Legislator Event on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6 p.m.

 Can’t make the event? Check out our blog for our full guide on how to get in touch with your legislator. 







Elly Boehmer

State Director, Environment Virginia

A former canvass director and organizer with Impact, Elly now directs Environment Virginia's efforts to promote clean air, clean water and open spaces in Virginia. Elly lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she enjoys gardening, photography, hiking and rollerblading with her dog.