Oscar Florez is an avid cyclist who has been a Corporate Accountability International volunteer and member since 2014.
What did you learn from doing Climate Ride, a five-day bike ride to raise awareness about climate change?
It was eye-opening for me as someone who was never involved in environmental issues before. People of all ages rode from Acadia in Bar Harbor, Maine to Boston to bring attention to climate change. Riding on behalf of Corporate Accountability International, I had a chance to talk about how corporations interfere with climate negotiations. There was a renewable energy group that fought a major campaign in the face of corporate influence—and it persevered and won. I heard so many great stories about what organizing can accomplish.
Why do you support Corporate Accountability International?
I’m amazed by how you organize. I know that a lot of planning goes into each campaign and the results show that. With the National Park Service, for instance, big corporations are trying to control it. But you’ve organized people to build a movement while working with political leaders to create good policy.
What’s a memorable volunteer experience you’ve had here?
In December I helped the national water campaign with its organizing to block a bill that would make it difficult for our national parks to go bottled water free. Before the team traveled to Washington, D.C., I printed thousands of petitions that people signed so they could be delivered in Congress. It was a small thing, but I hear that it was part of the reason 34 members of Congress stood up for our national parks and ultimately defeated the amendment.