Election Day is right around the corner and it will soon be time to head to the polls. We know that as you think about the well-being of your family and community, the health of our planet is top of mind, too. We’re right there with you.
To many of us, the effects of climate change and the burning of fossil fuels have never been clearer. According to the CDC, asthma rates have gone up 15% over the past decade and cases of tick-borne Lyme Disease have almost tripled in the last two decades. Not to mention our climate is heating up, which leads to longer summer heat waves and more heat-related illness. Add it all up and many of us are starting to think the same thing: we’re at an environmental crossroads. The good news is that we have the power to make positive change for the environment and our communities, especially through voting. With our vote, we can support leaders and policy that will bring to life the positive changes we want to see for our planet and future generations to come.
Before you head to the polls, we’ve worked to compile a list of friends, partners and organizations working to drive change in support of environmental justice. Learn more about the people & policies leading the charge:
- Our good friends at the Sierra Club—our partners in the Ready for 100 Campaign—do amazing work to raise voter awareness so that people can find and support the candidates who are fighting for policy that reflects their values: clean air, clean water, and climate action for renewable energy solutions. Sierra Club’s state-by-state voter guide lists the candidates they’ve decided to support after a rigorous vetting and research process. It’s a great way for voters across the country to get the quick scoop on which candidates—both for the senate and congress—are fighting climate change this election season.
- In Washington State, I-1631 will be a listed initiative on the ballot this November. I-1631 would issue a carbon tax on the state’s largest polluters and invest in protecting surrounding air and water by building new, clean-energy infrastructure across the state. This practical first step in our journey towards renewable energy would be the first policy in the country that would put a price on carbon pollution – standing up for our environment, our health and the health of future generations to come. It would also invest in clean-energy solutions, like wind and solar, and create jobs. Additionally, it’s the product of a diverse coalition of stakeholders, including indigenous groups, labor unions, and those advocating on behalf of low-income families. Initiatives like 1631 are a powerful illustration of the importance of turning out to vote, and how standing up for what we believe can help shape our energy future.
- The Environmental Voter Project, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that aims to get more people who care about the environment to the polls is doing inspiring work to mobilize voters. Their motivation? Research that revealed that there are 10 to 15 million people out there who are passionate about the environment but don’t vote.  The EVP uses analytics to find environmentalists who don’t vote, and then tries to connect with them in person, through social media, or through mailings to inspire them to get out and vote. Since voter interest and passion can dramatically affect the issues being talked about and the policies being proposed, EVP believes they can “bring environmental voter turnout to a tipping point of overwhelming demand for progressive environmental policies  .”
- We’ve long admired the work done by Women’s Voices for the Earth, a non-profit which “commits to bringing about real and measurable changes to improve women’s health though relentless investigation and action. We base our work on strong science and a precautionary approach to production and consumption”.  Seventh Generation even spotlighted WVE Executive Director Erin Switalski in our recent Women Driving Change series. Through their tireless advocacy, Women’s Voices raises awareness about policy initiatives related to ingredient disclosure and labeling practices, and also spotlights amazing women who are leading the charge for forward-thinking legislation. Definitely give their work a peek as you gear up for November.
- 350.org is a non-profit that boldly stands up to the fossil fuel industry all over the world. In their own words, they’re all about using “online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet  .” Through their website, you can wear your environmental passion on your sleeve and sign a petition to pledge that you will “vote only for candidates who will stand up to fossil fuel billionaires and champion green jobs, strong communities, and a safe climate.  ” 350’s website also features a calendar that lists the latest climate-related events around the world, such as marches, protests, and policy analyses to help bring people together and mobilize a movement.
- Lastly, we want to bring awareness to votesmart.org, whose mission is to provide “free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected official to ALL Americans  .” In an increasingly divisive political landscape where it’s sometimes hard to come by an unbiased take on the issues, this resource feels like a breath of fresh air—a place where voters can get simple, straight-forward information about candidates and policies. You can search by candidate, ballot measure, or topic (“the environment”) or (“climate change”) and even learn how to register to vote.
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