Audubon at Town Halls: Civic engagement to protect and defend birds

Mount Diablo Audubon Society at Congressman DeSaulnier’s town halls in Contra Costa County

Mt. Diablo Audubon Society members Mike Eliot, Georgette Howington, Rosalie Howarth, Carol Pachl and Ariana Rickard at Rep. DeSaulnier’s town hall Photo: Maren Smith

Many Audubon chapters are rethinking how to advocate for birds and habitat in the current political climate. One chapter, Mount Diablo Audubon, has an active Legislative Committee that engages with local elected officials to voice concerns about federal, state and local environmental issues. Meeting with other passionate advocates for birds and planning next steps has allowed the group to channel frustrations and disappointment into productive, concrete actions. There is strength in numbers and civic engagement with fellow Auduboners is really fun!

In the past six days, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, the Representative from District 11, has held three town halls in the East Bay. Mount Diablo Audubon members attended all three town halls and plans to work with his office on environmental issues. Every town hall was standing room only with some people not able to make it into the room.

The line to get into Rep. DeSaulnier’s Saturday morning town hall in Martinez was around the block! Photo: Ariana Rickard

Representative DeSaulnier received a warm welcome from his constituents and answered questions ranging from immigration policy to investigations into Russian election meddling. People at one town hall booed at the mention of Scott Pruitt, the newly confirmed Administrator of the EPA. 

Full house at Pleasant Hill Congressional Town Hall Photo: Ariana Rickard

Rep. DeSaulnier vowed to protect our strong environmental laws in California and asked his constituents for help in the battles ahead: “I would like to make this congressional district a national model of civic engagement.” Mount Diablo Audubon leaders are ready to take on that challenge and are trying out new ways to engage their membership and community.

Photo: Ariana Rickard

We know other Audubon members are storming town halls all over the country. We want to hear your stories! Feel free to contact me at Together we will build a stronger, more engaged network ready to take on the conservation challenges of our time.

How you can help, right now