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Sunrise Movement and Public Transportation in Columbus, Oh

Sunrise Movement is a youth-led national NGO that works to bring environmental justice through protests, rallies, and activism with over 400 hubs throughout the country. At its core, lies eleven core principles: to protect the climate and do so by creating ecological jobs, come together as communities, embrace diversity, nonviolence, respect others, support others, anyone can take initiative, embrace experimentation, take care of others, unite with other movements for greater change. Sunrise also supports the passing of the Green New Deal, which is a plan to make an American society that relies on 100% clean and reusable energy. This would be completed through proposed green jobs, Civilian Climate Corps, and a care economy.

One of Sunrise's main values is that of youth-led activism. As of 2021, young people are the largest voting bracket in the country, and the movement looks to harness this power in order to make political change. Starting in middle school, young people around the country have taken initiative to create Sunrise hubs in their own towns. Through hubs, local communities can work together in order to make changes in their home, as well as be a part of the greater Sunrise Movement.

The Sunrise hub at my school, Kenyon College, was founded in 2019, and is one of seven hubs in Ohio. Since spring of this year, the hubs have been working together on an ongoing project in order to improve public transportation in the state. Public transportation is an extremely important and efficient way to combat the overuse of fossil fuels. It cuts down on the carbon emissions, as well as helps improve quality of life for those in metropolitan places. Because most people, who use public transit, are in lower socio-economic classes, the improvement of the transportation systems will improve the community as well as be safer for the environment.

With the infrastructure bills going through Senate currently--the bipartisan bill and reconciliation bill--the Ohio hubs are fighting to have their voices heard in this important time. The Kenyon hub has been working tirelessly to plan the next event. This Saturday, October 16th, there will be a rally in Columbus, Oh in order to advocate for the reconciliation bill with the full 3.5 trillion USD over ten years. This bill would advocate 20 billion USD per year towards public transportation. The Senate's decision will set a tone for the government's attitudes towards its citizens and the environment, which house us. It is up to us to express how we want the future to look, and come together to take initiative in communities.

There will also be a rally in Cleveland on Saturday, October 21st for all those in the area interested in becoming involved.

Written by Alexia Tiches

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