We are beginning a regular series called “Why I do this Work” which will feature a new Clean Energy Jobs campaign supporter each month. We want to hear personal stories to gain a clear perspective of why we are all working together to accomplish this goal.
This Week’s Clean Activist: Healthcare Advocate Vinny Demarco
Like millions of other Americans and Marylanders, I have long been very concerned about climate change and the growing threat it poses to our environment and our entire society. Although concerned, I felt that I did not have the time to directly engage in the issue because I have been so immersed in other important public health issues. Two people changed my mind.
One was Mike Tidwell, the hard working, eloquent, and very persuasive leader of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) who has for several years made the convincing case to me that all my other work would not matter if our climate is destroyed. He strongly urged that the successful six-step advocacy template which I have put together for other public health issues (see https://youtu.be/33IFt3KsLJk) would work well to build support for policies that would address climate issues.
The other person who changed my mind was my son, Jamie DeMarco. Jamie has long been devoted to helping save our climate and who worked incredibly hard and with much success to build public support for the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016, which brought Maryland’s renewable energy goal to 25%. When Governor Hogan vetoed this life-saving bill, Jamie and I organized our Ride for the Override. We rode our bikes 387 miles from Ocean City to Garrett County to build public support for overriding the Governor’s veto. Even before the General Assembly overrode that veto in January of this year, I was hooked and ready to join Mike and Jamie and so many others in doing all we can to protect our climate.
Now, as Board Chair of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative (Jamie is Campaign Co-manager with Nikki Richards), I am doing all I can to make sure that the proportion of Maryland’s energy which is renewable goes up to 50%, and that there is money for job training and other support for those who will do the work of making this happen. There is no turning back for me, or for any of us, we must do all we can to save our climate and our way of life.
Thanks for all your hard work Vinny! We loved hearing your perspective.