Monday, September 22, 2014

Sen. Martin Heinrich Co-Sponsors Energize Africa Act of 2014

ONE volunteers at UNM
On Sept. 17, the Energize Africa Act of 2014 (SB 2508) gained three new co-sponsors in the Senate, including our own Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico. The two other new co-sponsors who signed on to the bill that day were Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Sen. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut., The measure requires the Administration to develop a comprehensive, multi-year strategy to achieve energy access goal in sub-Saharan Africa. Televison host Andrew Zimmern tells you more in this blog post.

The list of 22 sponsors of the Senate measure includes its lead sponsor, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Johnny Isaakson of  Georgia,  Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Sen. Christopher Coons  of  Delaware. (Sens. Corker and Coons are also the lead sponsors of the Food for Peace Reform Act of 2014 (SB 2421),  a bipartisan initiative that provides needed flexibility to deliver food aid, making the program more efficient).

Sens. Heinrich, Schumer, and Murphy signed on to SB2508, partly in thanks to the efforts of the 13 Power Project winners, AKA "Power Trippers", selected among volunteers around the country because of their active work on behalf of ONE. The Power Trippers visited Senate offices during the third week of September to seek support for the Energize Africa Act.

While none of the 13 volunteers came from New Mexico, some of  the 44,000 messages they delivered to Senate offices came from our state. I'm sure their efforts to bring Sen. Heinrich on board were also supported by dozens of letters obtained by the ONE chapter at the University of New Mexico and the countless emails from ONE supporters in our state during the summer..

So what's the next step?  ONE advocates around the country will continue  efforts to bring the other 78 senators on board (including Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico) as co-sponosrs before  the measure comes to the Senate floor for a vote.  The companion measure  in the House, HR 2538, was approved by an overwhelming margin  last spring (with the support of Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan).

1 comment:

Elainevc said...

We need to urge Sen. Menendez and Corker to take this to the floor in 2014!!!
Thanks for spreading the word, Carlos!