Faces of the Campaign is an ongoing series featuring our key organizers and stakeholders involved in “Put A Price On It, D.C.” Our coalition of 80+ organizations is comprised of racial justice activists, union workers, health advocates, moms, dads, kids, retirees, and business-owners alike. Peter Braun is a summer communications intern working on the campaign. Here’s his story.
What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Peter Braun and I am a Communications Intern DC CCAN office. I’m the guy writing the clever tweets and Facebook posts for @PutAPriceOnItDC. I’m also a student at University of Richmond and an intern at the City of Richmond, Office of Sustainability.
What woke you up to the climate crisis?
I have always loved the natural sciences. At some point in middle school, I looked around and realized that no one else seemed to care about what was happening to the Earth as much as I did. It wasn’t until the summer before my first year in college that I realized no one was going to take responsibility for the environment, so I had to step up.
Why does supporting equitable clean energy policy in DC matter to you?
Energy giants need to start taking responsibility for what they are doing to our world. So many average people like my family want to do their part to fight climate change, but they just do not have the resources to do it. This policy will start in DC, but I hope it inspires other cities to enact radical clean energy policies. I am fighting for DC because I want DC to set an example for my home town and spread this movement.
How is this campaign different from other environmental campaigns you’ve experienced in the past?
I have never seen so much action, engagement, and thoughtfulness on an environmental campaign before. There is an outpouring of support to the people we talk to when we go out to petition. There is so much enthusiasm and hope. The leaders of this campaign have worked with community organizations and made sure all DC residents are represented.
How has climate change impacted your own community?
Growing up just outside DC, and now living just outside of Richmond, you see just how vulnerable the homeless and poor are to the environment. Seeing reports of heat waves causing health problems in my own community is shocking. Knowing that my family could be so vulnerable makes me want to find a way to protect our common home, both the environment and my community.
What was your favorite moment in this campaign?
It’s simple, but every Monday our team of about 10 interns and our supervisor Chelsea begin the week with a meeting. We start out with news about the campaign and fun, random facts. It’s about coordinating for the week as a team, but it really builds a great community.
Tell me about a time you’ve witnessed community power.
In my first full week on the campaign we had a big press conference and rally outside of the DC City Council building for the announcement of a draft bill. A big crowd of more than 100 supporters showed up, there was a series of inspiring speeches, and we hand delivered literature and information about our draft bill the each of the council members offices. It was a really powerful demonstration of how we can enact change if we work together and use all of our skills and assets. (I also saw Matt Ackland from FOX 5, <3 wow!)
What was your biggest accomplishment on this campaign?
The first time I went out petitioning, I happened to run into a local, high-profile faith leader. He was our first signature! It was just the best start to the campaign I could have gotten. I even got to help set up and attend a meeting to discuss our campaign!
One word summing up your experience with this campaign:
Best place to get breakfast in DC?
I’ve been spent a lot of money at Takoma Beverage Company. I always get a latte and a honey-pistachio pastry.