On Saturday, Oct. 16, members of Sunrise Kenyon — the College’s local chapter of the Sunrise Movement, a climate activism organization — hosted a rally for public transit in front of the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. Leading up to the event, they tabled in Peirce Dining Hall and held a teach-in on Oct. 13 in Samuel Mather Hall.
The rally centered around advocating for the passage of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill proposed by Democrats in Congress, with the primary goal being to urge lawmakers not to cut funding for infrastructure and public transit from the bill during negotiations.
The rally comes in the wake of a number of rallies for public transportation hosted by Sunrise chapters throughout Ohio.
“We’re continuing an ongoing effort and decided we wanted to do a rally because the reconciliation bill was introduced since the last rally they had in July,” said Sunrise Kenyon co-coordinator Kendall Lloyd ’22.
Sunrise members gathered in front of the Bookstore at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and carpooled to the Columbus statehouse. There, they displayed posters with information about the reconciliation bill and climate change, and spoke with passersby about their movement.
“I think the rally was successful,” Lloyd said. “I feel like people genuinely had a good time and we had some [beneficial] interactions with the people that came up to us.”
The rally was the culmination of Sunrise Kenyon’s outreach efforts. Beyond coordinating with other Sunrise chapters, Sunrise Kenyon had to work with authorities at the Ohio Statehouse while organizing the protest, in addition to educating members and supporters about the issues and publicizing the event.
Sunrise Kenyon plans to organize similar events later in the semester.
“We want to try to do something on campus and more Kenyon-focused,” Lloyd said. “[Our goal is] to try and partner with some of the other organizations on campus that are focused on sustainability.”
Lloyd indicated that their next event will likely focus on the College’s commitments to sustainability as given in their new strategic plan. Overall, Sunrise Kenyon hopes to work more with climate activists both on campus and throughout Ohio in the near future.