Among her many causes, Rep. Giffords has been one of the leading advocates of solar energy and energy independence in Congress. Here are some of her solar initiatives:
As of this writing, physicians treating Gabrielle Giffords are saying that she is going to survive and recover from the tragedy in Arizona. Of course, as Rep. Giffords recovers, it’s understandable that solar—and all of her causes—are going to be secondary to her health and family. It’s for this reason that I’d like to suggest that we, the solar industry, step up our own personal solar efforts during Ms. Giffords’ recovery.
With that in mind, here are 5 things that an individual or solar company can do to honor the past —and future—work of solar advocate, Gabrielle Giffords:
1) Write an email or send her a greeting card to Ms Giffords’ Congressional office. Her office has set up a special email account: firstname.lastname@example.org. Express your thanks and support during this challenging time. Please also remember to include your condolences to her late staffer, Gabe Zimmerman, who died last Saturday. Make no mistake. Supportive notes do help heal. It gives meaning to the past and gives one resolve to continue and improve for the future.
2) Make a donation to a solar organization in Rep. Giffords’ honor. There are so many worthy organizations who support passing solar legislation and who advance standards or policies. SEIA has worked with Ms. Giffords to craft solar bills. I might also suggest The Vote Solar Initiative, ASES, and IREC. Or choose another organization. Make whatever donation “in support of the past and future solar efforts of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.” Ask colleagues to do the same.
3) Write a blog post. If you have a company blog, tell your readers about Rep. Giffords’ solar advocacy efforts. Encourage them to also write a note of encouragement to the above email address, as well. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc, share that post as well.
4) If feasible, donate a solar system to an Arizona school in Ms. Giffords' honor. I have no idea how many Tucson schools already have a solar system, but this would be a great way to continue Rep. Giffords’ Solar 101 work in her own district. Not in Arizona? Donate a system to your own local school, in her honor.
5) Set a goal to fix a local solar issue while Ms. Giffords is recovering. Sometimes we need a moment like this to realize that we can’t put off things until tomorrow. Is there some outdated bureaucracy gumming up the permitting system? Is your solar business tired of red tape, outdated interconnection standards, or the slow pace of issuing rebate checks? Set a goal to fix that issue while Ms. Giffords is recovering. Whatever you face, keep trying to find a solution. When you finish fixing the issue, write Ms. Giffords and tell her how her work and perseverance inspired you to get through your local challenges on behalf of your local solar community.
Have more suggestions? By all means, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading. Please share this with other solar colleagues, and in honor of Rep. Giffords, I sincerely ask you to do at least one of the above suggestions and to always… UnThink Solar.
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