WASHINGTON, DC - The League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund today announced the kick-off of the Presidential Leadership Network (PLN), comprised of influential donors from across the nation and across party lines set on making global warming a priority for the next president of the United States.
PLN members, many of whom already have a history of significant leadership on this critical issue, are gathering a strong group of significant donors to personally highlight the importance of altering the course of global warming with the presidential candidates.
"Donors are often taken seriously for their financial support and less so for their public policy commitments, which is what makes this project so unique," League of Conservation Voters Education Fund President Gene Karpinski said. "We believe this is the first group of donors organized to elevate any issue during a presidential election, and in particular, where each member is urging candidates to understand the need for the U.S. to address global warming at a presidential level."
The donors involved in the Presidential Leadership Network are briefing the candidates in private meetings, at fundraisers and house parties, and in letters and phone calls. Leading the PLN are the following Co-Chairs: Robert Redford, Teddy Roosevelt IV, Laura Turner Seydel, Larry Rockefeller, Laurie David, former Representative Sherry Boehlert (R-NY), and Vinod Khosla.
"As citizens, our challenge is not to hope that one of these candidates is up to the task, but to ensure that all of them will be," Robert Redford said. "With the right leadership, confronting the threat of global warming can unite Americans and the world."
"Global warming is a challenge of leadership," Theodore Roosevelt IV said. "As donors, we are playing our part to help cultivate that leadership."
The PLN currently consists of nearly 250 donors from across the country who are also influential leaders in their communities. The network has already held two briefing calls with presidential candidates and are planning several more in the coming months.
"Each of us knows the stakes and urgency of the global warming crisis," Laurie David said. "Without question, the next president of the United States will shape-for better or worse-humanity's prospects relative to global warming."
Since the candidates conduct a significant portion of their fundraising in California, LCV Education Fund has partnered with the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund to enlist PLN members in that key state.
"California's donors may continue to be the nation's political ATM, but we are also its environmental leaders," CLCV Education Fund Executive Director Susan Smartt said. "Through the Presidential Leadership Network, we are making sure that our next president follows California's lead in tackling the climate crisis."
The PLN is part of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund's "The Heat Is On" campaign to elevate global warming in the 2008 elections. LCV Education Fund has partnered with the state leagues in each of the early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, to educate caucus goers and primary voters on global warming to elevate the issue among citizens and the media. In working with citizens in each of these states, the project is positioning global warming as a major issue in the 2008 race.
To learn more about The Heat Is On project, to find out what the candidates and others have said about addressing global warming and to see video of the candidates talking about this issue, visit: www.heatison.org.
The nonprofit League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (LCVEF) is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to strengthen the capacity of the environmental movement, mobilize citizens as informed voters and advocate for sound environmental policies.