Students who do cool things: Camila Bustos ’16, Mara Freilich ’15, and Sophie Purdom ’16

Senator Whitehouse speaking at the event to promote the Resilient RI Act and other climate change initiatives.

Senator Whitehouse speaking at the event to promote the Resilient RI Act and other climate change initiatives.

On Thursday, March 20th, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave a special legislative briefing on federal climate change initiatives, and more specifically, the Resilient Rhode Island Act. While you may know that State Rep. Art Handy and State Senator Susan Sosnowski hosted the event at the Capital building downtown, you might not know that the Resilient RI Act would not have been possible without a group of dedicated, driven, and eco-friendly students from our very own Brown University.

We sat down with Camila Bustos ’16, Mara Freilich ’15, and Sophie Purdom ’16,  three of the student interns working on the Resilient RI Act, that seeks to make Rhode Island better equipped to address climate change, to talk a little bit about the event, what they’ve contributed, and what they really think about the dining halls.

BlogDH: So you guys are involved in something called the Resilient Rhode Island Act. Can you explain what that is for me?

Camila: Yeah, so, this is a piece of legislation we’re trying to get passed with Representative Art Handy and a group of consultants. And, basically, it’s legislation that combines mitigation and adaptation efforts in the face of climate change in Rhode Island.

BlogDH: What are you guys, as students, doing? Or what are your specific contributions and responsibilities with the act?

Sophie: I would just say that there are definitely more than the three of us. There’s been about five interns every semester, so there were five people that stayed here over winter break and worked on it, and there’s five people working right now, and there will be people following up over the summer.

BlogDH: When did the first round of interns start?

Sophie: This winter. And it’s been nicely supported by the administration, and we work specifically with Professor of Environmental Sociology Timmons Roberts, and he’s been in the news a lot lately winning various awards and such. He’s a great guy. And there are two consultants as well, Ken Payne, who was the Rhode Island Senate Policy Council Chair, and he currently helps to run the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, and there’s Meg Kerr, who is an environmental consultant and [is[ basically  really great at running campaigns.

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