Citizen lobbyist Jay Butera believes in the power of polite persistence. Nearly every week for the past 10 years, he has taken the Amtrak train down to Washington D.C. from his home in Montgomery County to convince congress to take action on climate.
“There were times when it felt like this is not going to happen,” said Butera. “This is impossible, this is the most polarized issue in congress.”
Butera is a successful entrepreneur, having created and sold two businesses. But instead of courting investors, he now spends all his time volunteering with the Citizen’s Climate Lobby. He says he’s had hundreds of conversations with Republican aides and congressmen.
But despite the recent election that had Republicans take control of both houses of Congress and the White House, Butera is suddenly having some success. And it’s not just with Democrats.
“It’s not enough to try and advocate for one party or another because nothing substantive can happen unless it has support from both parties,” he said. “It feels as if the momentum is finally shifting in our favor.”
###This story comes from our content partner StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration between WITF and WHYY covering the fiscal and environmental impact of Pennsylvania’s booming energy economy.