Transforming Minds and Markets under the Capitol Dome | U.S. Green Building Council
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Looking up at the capitol dome in Des Moines, Iowa.
Looking up at the capitol dome in Des Moines, Iowa.

If you thought we had a lot to celebrate in 2012, just brace yourself for 2013. Green building advocates have already mobilized for policy action in South Carolina, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa and Colorado. I was fortunate enough to join the USGBC chapter-led advocacy efforts in Des Moines and Denver last week, and I think we’re on the verge of something big.

USGBC-Iowa orchestrated its second annual visit to the capitol dome (pictured above) to carry the flag for economic prosperity and fiscal responsibility through cost-effective green buildings. The event, in partnership with AIA-Iowa for the seventh annual Design Professionals Day on the Hill, produced an impressive display of design and engineering prowess on professional posters in the rotunda, as well as meetings with a bipartisan list of more than two dozen legislators.

As if this advocacy push weren’t enough, USGBC-Iowa will be going back to the legislature today in partnership with the Iowa Environmental Council to continue to push a pro-local-business, green building agenda. USGBC-North Carolina and Texas chapters will also be making visits to lawmakers at their state capitol buildings later today.

Last week I was also fortunate enough to join USGBC-Colorado for their fourth annual advocacy visit to the nation’s first and only LEED-certified state capitol building. The event, held in conjunction with the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado’s ninth annual Legislative Briefing, drew more than 200 attendees and ten legislators and also set up a whirlwind of interactions between advocates and state lawmakers around advancing green building policy. Significant to USGBC-Colorado’s priorities are two bills that could enable both the legal reuse of greywater and also property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for commercial buildings. In addition, USGBC-Colorado is enthusiastic about a forthcoming senate bill that could significantly advance green schools in the state.

Colorado State Representative Randy Fischer may have said it best: “I can’t over-emphasize the importance of seeing all of you here today in support of advancing energy and environmental policy in the state.”

How are you reaching out to state lawmakers this spring to show your support for a brighter green building future? Contact your local chapter and get involved in one of USGBC’s advocacy campaigns today!

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Director, Technical Policy, U.S. Green Building Council

The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado has uploaded individual videos from each of the legislators who spoke at the briefing. They even included a video of my very brief remarks. There's a lot of opportunity in the CO state capitol this spring! View the videos here:

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