Iowa Youth Organized Climate Strike at Iowa State Capitol

posted by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Guest blog post by Lillian Hill and Sonita Van der Leeuw

My name is Lillian Hill. I am a 14-year-old climate activist. I live in Johnston, Iowa; a suburb of Des Moines. My passion for climate activism was fueled by the desire to create positive, meaningful change.  

Everyday people from around the world are suffering from the climate crisis. This crisis is putting Iowans, Americans, and other individuals at risk of financial crisis, food shortages, property destruction, and health crises, and so much more. 

Iowa legislators need to realize Iowans want climate action now, not in 30 years. Right now they have a choice: do our legislators want to be individuals that future generations remember as leaders, or rather scared politicians?

Lillian Hill at the Capitol buildingI decided to hold monthly strikes because we are running out of time. Every hour and every day that goes by with a lack of action from our legislators is a day future generations lose. Iowa needs to develop a comprehensive climate action plan that includes all forms of greenhouse gases, electricity, transportation, agriculture, etc. We must pass ethical legislation to stop our planet from warming over 1.5 C. When developing climate legislation, it is crucial that we include youth, BIPOC and other marginalized voices during this process. Environmental justice is a crisis by itself and urgently needs to be addressed. 

The strike was established to let Iowa legislators know we want to see climate action now. This was achieved! The climate strike was broadcast by WHO13 and KCCI8. It was exhilarating to see the protest on the news and I was thrilled to see it gained attention. Next time I’d love to host an event when the representatives are in session. That way our presence will be even more effective. Reflecting on how our first strike went, one of my favorite parts was when everyone shared why they were fighting for climate action as well as why it mattered for them. 

Climate Strikers in the Capitol Rotunda, 2021It was so rejuvenating to see so many different climate groups come together to support the climate strike. These groups include Johnston Climate Change CommitteeCitizen Climate  LobbySierra ClubClimate Reality ProjectInterfaith Power and LightIndianola Green Team, Iowa Environmental Council and more! 

Mohandas Gandhi once said “be the change you want to see in the world.” I believe that everyone can make a difference, especially when we work together.   

Please contact me if you have any questions, comments or would like to help out in a future strike. Together we can make a difference! I will be hosting monthly strikes - if you wish to attend please contact me!


About the Author

Lillian HillMy name is Lillian Hill. I am a 14 year old climate activist. I live in Johnston, Iowa, a suburb of Des Moines.

My passion for climate activism was fueled by the desire to create positive change. Meaningful change. I have always idolized independence, confidence, and originality. 

  1. clean energy
  2. climate change
  3. environmental justice
  4. renewable energy

About The Author

IEC is pleased to welcome guest bloggers on a number of different topics throughout the year. If you are interested in submitting a blog piece to IEC, contact us at iecmail@iaenvironment.org.