Hello clean-air-and-climate friends:
Red-Butte-a-palooza: There are four sold out Red Butte concerts this coming week: Shakey Graves and Dr Dog on T Aug 13, Lord Huron on W Aug 14, the B-52s on F Aug 16, and the Steve Miller Band on M Aug 19. Help us gather at these shows by signing up here or emailing info@DarnAir.org (or you can just show up, but we’d prefer to get a heads-up if possible :), and if you’re new then we will get you all the training and materials you need!
But it’s not just Red Butte: There’s also farmers markets all around the state. And there’s the Tour of Utah bicycle race: Snowbird Resort on M Aug 12, North Logan City on T Aug 13, Brigham City on W Aug 14, North Salt Lake on Th Aug 15, SLC on F Aug 16, and Park City on Sat-Sun Aug 17-18. And there’s RSL (men’s soccer) games in Sandy on W Aug 14 and Sat Aug 17. And you can try to gather on Natural Grocers Anniversary Day, Th Aug 15, at their 8 stores in Utah: Logan, Ogden, Bountiful, 2 in SLC, South Jordan, Heber City, and St George. And in and around SLC there’s concerts and theater (including Book of Mormon) and the Utah Beer Festival Aug 17-18, And did we mention farmers markets all around the state? We need lots of volunteers and Emissionaries at these events—and remember, we’ll help you get all the training and materials you need—so contact your chapter leader and/or email info@DarnAir.org to sign up and make your way toward the 250 Club! Speaking of which…
Signature totals and the 250 Club: As of tomorrow we will have turned in over 7,000 signatures! And congratulations to Justin Saxton and Westminster College chapter lead Madeline O’Neal for joining the 250 Club (folks who have gathered 250 signatures!) FYI the hardworking folks in the state’s county clerk offices have 30 days from the turn-in date of each packet to count up the number of valid signatures, so there’s a significant lag between turn-in and validation, but as of W Aug 7 they’ve counted 3,680 valid signatures. Here’s a tally of valid signatures by senate district, based on data from the Lt Governor; see also this infographic. Not surprisingly, we’re doing best in urban areas, but we’re picking up a good number of folks from all around the state. Looking ahead, we need to focus more on suburban and rural districts, farmers markets, etc.
College chapters, football games, and Hispanic Heritage Month: The school year is starting up again, beginning on M Aug 19 at the U of U in SLC, UVU in Orem, and Dixie State in St George, followed by Snow College in Ephraim, (T Aug 20), Salt Lake Community College (W Aug 21, at 5 campuses in SLC), and more the following week. There are also football games coming up, starting with the BYU / U of U “Holy War” game on Th Aug 29 in Provo that we want to turn out for in force. Please connect with your college chapters to get involved and/or email info@DarnAir.org. Looking even further ahead, Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept 15 – Oct 15, and for events then and elsewhere we now have 100 Spanish-language signboards. If you habla español and want one just email us at info@DarnAir.org!
Tales from the Trails: In honor of Red-Butte-a-palooza, here’s a report from Amanda Cooper about gathering there:
My experience of gathering signatures to Clean the Darn Air has been extremely rewarding. While I expected enthusiasm from my fellow Utahns, I was blown away by just how passionate people are about getting clean air: some folks at the Red Butte Concert series even thanked me for volunteering my time to gather signatures and spread the word. Wow!
My technique for signature gathering is pretty simple: be the kind of person you would prefer to be approached by. I like to smile and try to make eye contact while asking, “Sign to get clean air on the Utah 2020 ballot?” As Bob Cieri says, once you catch one person’s attention, the rest of their group is usually eager to sign. All that’s left to do in these cases is to make sure everyone who signs is a registered Utah voter and that their name, address, and the date are printed clearly in the packet. [YB: Encourage them to also add their date of birth or age because it helps the county clerks find them in the voter file!]
A few folks may be annoyed or try to argue – instead of engaging, I politely thank them for their time and move along. The overwhelmingly positive responses far outnumber the occasional crabapples. (Ornery oranges? Cantankerous cantaloupes?) Usually, people just want to have a quick conversation about what the initiative will do before they sign. After reminding them that we’re gathering signatures just to get the initiative on the ballot, I say something to the effect of, “This initiative will raise $100 million that will be used directly to improve air quality and another $50 million for rural economic development each year. We plan to do this by implementing a carbon tax on fossil fuels while removing regressive taxes, such as those on grocery store food.”