PolicyWise Podcast Episode 4: The Environment and Sustainability

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This week’s PolicyWise podcast (Episode 4) features discussions about environmental justice and energy policy as Elli Azbaecher and Grant Mack join hosts Demitria Wack and Michael Wiafe.

Azbaecher, a freshman at University of California at Berkeley and a member of the CA FWD Young Leaders Advisory Council, realized the urgency of climate change after hearing Greta Thunberg’s address at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit. She has been active in environmental issues in her hometown of Sacramento and served on the Mayor’s Health and Climate Resiliency Technical Advisory Committee.

“I’m really proud of everyone my age that’s getting so involved,” she said. “It’s almost this culture right now where if you see something you want to change, you have to speak up and say something because this is really our future that’s at stake.”

Mack is a senior legislative consultant on gas and electricity for the California Public Utilities Commission and got involved in climate issues during his freshman year at San Diego State University, where he was active is the issue of sustainability and served as the president and CEO of Associated Students.

As an energy policy advisor, he has seen a shift in the discussion of environmental issues over the past ten years. “I’ve even noticed the policy conversations evolve from 2010 and what was very much environmental policies on what we need to do to reduce our impact to figuring out how we can be more inclusive to those from differing socio-economic backgrounds and those that are being more impacted by these environmental policies.”

The two guests also discuss how California and the federal government can work together on forest management and also give advice to young people who are interested in getting involved in issues surrounding the environment and climate change.

The PolicyWise podcast is a partnership between Youth Leadership Institute and CA FWD and can be heard on Spotify, Apple PodcastsStitcherBreaker AudioRadioPublicPocket Casts and Overcast.


Nadine Ono

All stories by: Nadine Ono