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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola Students Participate in Lobby Day

Sarah McKoy
Meeting with Senator Mary Washington

Lobby Day is held every year in Maryland for different groups and citizens to come and introduce ideas for bills and policies that they want implemented in their district, county or state. Loyola students joined the effort of Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home’s 5th Annual Lobby Day on Feb.13 in Annapolis to help lobby for the following bills related to the environment. 

The Reclaim Renewable Energy Act, an act to stop subsidies from going towards environmentally harmful forms of renewable energy, such as trash incineration. 

Transportation and Climate Alignment Act of 2024, an act to allot tax dollars towards public transportation to help reach Maryland’s climate goals.

 Maryland Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter, a bill to push for bottle and container collection programs, allowing people to trade containers for money. Being a few of the different bills Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home advocated for this year.

Loyola students began the day by telling an auditorium full of people what they wanted to accomplish and what their common home means to them. Luisa Glass ’25 came to Annapolis in hopes of being a part of a change that wouldn’t just help Loyola, but the whole environment.

“Our common home is so important to me because there are so many issues that are affecting the health of our planet. In order for us and future generations to have a successful life, it is really important that we all come together to address these issues, especially since so many of them are helping underserved communities,” Glass said.

Maryland Catholics for our Common Home, or MCCH, is an organization following Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and its message to hear the cry of the earth and the poor. With strong beliefs in the care for creation, MCCH seeks to educate and advocate for social and environmental justice in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas. Every year they invite different parishes, social justice groups, and students to join them in their Lobby Day efforts.

MCCH Lobby Day Workshop (Sarah McKoy)

One of the main speakers for Maryland Catholics for Our Common Home is Bob Simons, a retired energy policy expert for the US Government. One of the earliest participants of MCCH’s Lobby Day endeavors, his mission started with the birth of his grandchild.

“After I retired in January of 2020, my first grandchild was born, and I vividly remember holding her in my hands in the hospital, and thinking to myself, ‘Holy crap, I’m holding someone in my hands who’s going to be alive in the year 2100.’ And I thought to myself, ‘Wow,’ because most climate projections tell you about how crappy the world is going to be in 2100. And I was always interested in this stuff but here’s one more reason,” Simons said.

The Lobby Day Workshop then ended in song as Maryland native singer-songwriter Joshua Long performed his newest song released this spring, “Live A Better Way .” He, just like Simons, also wanted to inspire people to promote a more sustainable way of living and combat environmental racism.

Lobby Day will be held again next year by Maryland Catholics for our Common Home, and Simons said he hopes to see more Loyola students participate in the future.

“We do everything you need to make it a very easy and simple lobby visit. You might think, ‘Oh how can I go in and talk to a senator?’ But we really try to equip you with all the information you need to make it as easy as possible. And I’m so thrilled so many Loyola students are here, I hope there are more next year.”

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