Hello! My name is Nicole Walter, and I am the new WashPIRG Advocate. I want to share more about myself and why I’m motivated to do this work, now more than ever.
Through summers spent outdoors hiking and exploring miles of coastline, mountains, and forests, I developed a deep love for the environment. And over time, I’ve seen how the decisions we make year-to-year can have a lasting impact on our future.
Growing up, I assumed I would become a lawyer or a lawmaker to shape society - I never really imagined getting involved in advocacy and activism. But in college I took an internship with CALPIRG Students, and that experience made me see the value of grassroots activism and social change work, and I've been doing it ever since.
One of the first campaigns I worked on was to save solar incentive programs in California, to ensure that more people could afford and make the switch to renewable energy. With a team of my peers, we gathered thousands of petitions from students across the state, worked with a diverse coalition of groups, built a buzz in the media, and lobbied our decision makers so they heard loud and clear what needed to be done. And, we won!
I've spent the last four years after college continuing to organize and mobilize college students to run effective grassroots campaigns in California and Washington with the Student PIRGs. I’ve worked with hundreds of volunteers on campaigns to pass the first 100% clean electricity commitment in California and statewide bans on single-use plastics, and helped to register and turn out thousands of young voters in our elections. Now, I’m excited to take on this new role as the WashPIRG Advocate, to speak out for the public interest and for a healthier, safer world for all of us.
Despite all the progress we’ve made over the years, we still live in a society that has more problems than we should tolerate, and more solutions than we are putting to use.
But, the good news is that we know the solutions, and in 2021, we have the resources and the technology to put them to use. We can get there by working together for a greater good, uniting across party lines, sharing our vision for a better future, and focusing on making real change.
Right now, I’m focused on continuing our efforts to move the state of Washington "Beyond Plastic." Nothing we use for a few minutes should be able to harm our health and environment for hundreds of years, and yet we continue to throw out tons and tons of plastic waste every single day. We’re working to shift the responsibility of our plastic waste from us as individual consumers to the companies and manufacturers that create and profit off of these wasteful products. I will also be working to promote the right to repair our stuff to keep our things in use and reduce waste, as well as to advocate for more consumer protections in our state.
I’m excited to get to work with our members, decision-makers, and Washingtonians across the state to move towards a healthier, safer, future for all of us, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.