Meet Karina Carrillo: EDF Action’s Organizer Building Grassroots Power for Climate Action in Colorado
Karina Carrillo, EDF Action’s Colorado organizer, grew up surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. From spending time in the mountains, lakes, and forests of Northern Colorado, Karina developed a passion for the environment at a young age. At home in Colorado, she has felt the impacts of climate change in her community; as she puts it, “I have experienced changes in the air quality… I can feel it in my throat and I can see it in the air. Just this past summer, many of my family members had to stay indoors most days as they suffer from asthma.”
As an organizer, Karina leads EDF Action’s on-the-ground advocacy efforts in Colorado and works to engage EDF members in grassroots volunteer opportunities across the state. Karina completed EDF Action’s summer advocacy fellowship, an action-oriented 12-week training program, before joining the team as a full-time organizer this August. She loved her experience with the fellowship; she says the program strengthened her public speaking, grassroots engagement, and communication skills.
As an organizer, she’s been amazed by the motivation and passion of members; she says, “so many people are directly impacted by the climate crisis and want to help find solutions… I also speak to a lot of people that want to have children and realize that future generations will feel the severe effects from climate change. People want to take action to protect their children’s world.”
Over the past few months, Karina has planned events including honk and waves, climate rallies, and local volunteer meetings. In August, Karina and the Colorado team hosted an event focused on electric vehicles and clean energy featuring U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt. Volunteers and representatives from Defend Our Future, EDF Action, and other green groups spoke about the importance of clean energy infrastructure, domestic manufacturing, and climate advocacy. At this event, Karina met climate activists and recruited new volunteers to join the movement.
One of Karina’s most active and dedicated volunteers on the Colorado team is Chris Gassman. Chris, an EDF Action volunteer leader and Climate Corps alum, shares Karina’s passion for the outdoors as a native Coloradoan. An avid skier and hiker, Chris appreciates the value of our Earth and recognizes that the climate crisis threatens the outdoor activities that he loves. Chris remembers seeing the haze of fire smoke from the window of his home in Colorado; “I grew up always being able to see the mountains… and then there were weeks at a time when the mountains were hidden from view because of thick fire smoke.”
Chris practices environmentalism in his every-day life; he’s a vegan and the proud owner of a used electric vehicle. Chris is also dedicated to supporting friends, colleagues, and family members transition to greener life-style choices. Recently, he helped his grandfather install solar panels and switch 100% of his home’s energy to solar. As a volunteer leader with EDF Action, Chris participates in virtual volunteer actions, organizes meetings with congressional offices, and plans advocacy events.
The EDF Action team in Colorado is building a movement of volunteers to advocate for climate action. With Congress considering bold investments in clean energy infrastructure, now is a vital time to join the fight.
Karina and Chris agree that in order to find sustainable solutions and move federal investments forward, we need people all over the country to get involved. As Karina puts it, “this issue impacts all of us, and there are simple actions people can take from anywhere to encourage their Members of Congress to go bold on climate.”
If you want to take action today, click here to contact your Members of Congress and encourage them to support bold climate action!
We will be running a series of posts on EDF Action’s grassroots work and the organizers leading the charge in key states and congressional districts! Check back on Wednesday for our next installment in this series. To learn more about how to take action in Colorado, contact Karina at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our EDF Action Colorado Facebook group.