Simon Elliott’s Message is on Clean Energy

Simon Elliott of Amherst

Give Simon Elliott of Amherst a half a minute, and he can make you an environmental supporter. That’s one of the skills he learned at last year’s summer academy at the Center for Environmental Civics.

In the academy, Simon worked on the anti-coal bill, and he learned to build a 30-second argument around why others should support the bill and what they can do to help. That skill has served him well this year as the senior at Amherst Regional High School has continued supporting the effort, reissued this year as House Bill 2935, an act to transition to a clean energy commonwealth.

Working as part of his high school’s Environmental Action Club as the leader of its lobbying group, Simon is petitioning in support of the bill. He led a letter-writing campaign to legislators, has been in touch with the bill’s sponsors and was invited to the Legislative hearing on the topic, which has yet to be scheduled.

At a sustainability festival this year, Simon walked around asking for signatures to support the bill. Most were willing to sign, but some people were skeptical and wanted to see how much he knew.

“Being able to have that 30-second speech, in which I could tell them what the bill would do and what the effects of it would be on the community, was great,” he said. “And it was great to be able to tell them that and not get flustered. I could persuade them to do what I wanted them to do.”

Being articulate suits Simon, as does being organized and clear.

“The CEC academy definitely started all that,” Simon says.

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