June Top 5 2021

Last month, we told you that LCV announced a $10 million investment to raise awareness and support around the country for bold Congressional action on climate, environmental justice, and a clean energy economy that creates good-paying jobs. Now, we’re investing an additional $8 million to launch a massive, eight-state field program to build support for the need for Congress to act on climate, jobs, and justice NOW.

With economic recovery legislation in Congress looking likely to advance on two tracks — a limited bipartisan infrastructure bill and a reconciliation package ambitious enough to tackle climate change and environmental injustice, LCV is focused on critical pieces in the second package, These would include investments to cut emissions by at least half by 2030; put our nation on the path to 100% carbon-free energy powering our electricity grid and new cars, buses, and buildings by 2035; and deliver 40 percent of overall benefits and investments to environmental justice communities.

Over a 10-week period that began last week, our field program will educate the public in eight states on the benefits of action by Congress and engage the constituents of key Senators and Representatives whose support is needed for legislation to pass. Through constituent calls, door-to-door canvassing, lawn signs, local events, and digital ads tailored with state-specific messaging, LCV will ensure that members of Congress see and feel overwhelming support for climate action.

With Congress headed home over the July 4 holiday, the weeks ahead present a can’t-miss opportunity for our movement to create momentum in the districts of 40-50 members of Congress to pass legislation that centers climate, jobs, and justice.

Now, here is your LCV Top 5 for June 2021:

1) Ad Campaign Thanks Finance Committee Senators for Driving Clean Energy Incentives

On June 8, a coalition of advocacy organizations, including LCV, launched a digital ad campaign to thank U.S. Senators for supporting the Clean Energy for America Act, an important bill that would create ambitious tax policies and eliminate fossil fuel incentives to drive reductions in the carbon pollution that exacerbates climate change.

The tax incentives included in the Clean Energy for America Act are a major component of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The bill is projected to:

  • reduce climate emissions from the power sector by more than 75%;
  • double clean energy generation over 10 years;
  • help make electric vehicles the majority of all new passenger vehicles sold;
  • create half a million high-quality jobs and support domestic manufacturing;
  • increase access to solar energy; and
  • accelerate adoption of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

The digital campaign was designed to ensure that the Senators’ constituents know they are taking bold action on climate and clean energy. Read more about our positive accountability digital campaign here.

Related: LCV Sr. Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld is quoted in a Washington Post article about former Vice President Al Gore pressing President Biden to remain firm on climate provisions during ongoing infrastructure negotiations.

2) Memo: NM-01 Victory Highlights How Environmental Champions Can Win

At LCV, we believe that electing leaders who run on a platform of climate action, clean energy, and environmental justice is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the political power of these issues. Recently, LCV Action Fund endorsed Melanie Stansbury as a candidate (now, Representative) for New Mexico’s first congressional district. Conventional wisdom suggested that this seat could have been difficult for Democrats to hold on to because, often, the party that wins the White House underperforms in off-year elections. However, Stansbury ended up winning in a landslide — with a margin of nearly 25 percentage points!

While it’s hard to pinpoint Stansbury’s win to any one thing, we do know that climate and clean energy was at the center of Stansbury’s campaign, and she stood firm in the face of attacks from her fossil-fuel industry funded opponent. Stansbury’s story is a lesson for pro-environment candidates across the country. Click here to read more about Stansbury’s against-the-odds landslide victory — and how running on climate and clean energy contributed to her win.

Related: LCV Action Fund Announces First Round of U.S. Senate Endorsements in the 2022 Election Cycle

3) Snapshot: What were Congressional Leaders Talking about during Memorial Day Recess?

From California to Maine, members of Congress spent time in their home districts over the Memorial Day week recess. They attended events where they spoke to constituents about the benefits of clean energy, good-paying jobs, and environmental justice in the American Jobs Plan. One example: While visiting his home state of Colorado, Senator John Hickenlooper told his constituents, “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in not only Colorado’s but America’s future and to do it in a way that confronts climate change head on.” Click here to read more of what members said at press conferences, town halls, and LCV state affiliate-hosted events across the country.

4) Recap of LCV’s 2021 Climate Victory Council Summit

LCV’s Climate Victory Council (CVC) Summit is an annual event for our most committed supporters of the Conservation Voter Movement to come together with experts to discuss solutions for the most pressing issues of our time. This year, we held the summit virtually and focused on the intersection of LCV’s top priorities: climate, democracy, and racial justice.

We heard from LCV President Gene Karpinski, LCV Board Member & United Steelworkers International Vice President at Large Roxanne Brown, and LCV Board Member Elaine French on why action on climate, jobs, and justice is both good policy and good politics, especially during this unique moment. Additional speakers included Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA45), and Tucson, Arizona Mayor Regina Romero, who joined us to talk about how a justice-and-jobs-centered approach to fighting the climate crisis is playing out in their communities. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Michigan Secretary of State Joceyln Benson joined LCV Voting Rights Program Director Justin Kwasa, and LCV Board Member & former US Representative (MD-04) Donna Edwards for a session focused on the threat of voter suppression and the state of play for both federal- and state-based legislation to protect and strengthen our nation’s democratic principles and institutions. Check out the full agenda here and you can view recordings of the summit sessions Elections Have Consequences, Our Democracy is Worth Fighting For, and Climate Leaders in Conversation. To learn more about how you can attend future LCV virtual and in-person events, contact Lisa Tucker at lisa_tucker@lcv.org.

EVENT BONUS: In case you missed it, this month LCV and 51 for 51 unveiled a new mural in Washington, D.C. as part of a broad effort to advocate for D.C. statehood. The mural, in the Shaw neighborhood at the intersection of 11th St. NW and Vermont Ave. NW, highlights the critical intersection between statehood and fighting the climate crisis, and how the disenfranchisement of the District’s 700,000 residents — nearly half of whom are Black — renders them silent on important issues like climate. Designed by two local artists, César Maxit and Nessar Jahanbin, the mural also honors Josephine Butler, a leader in both the D.C. statehood and environmental justice movements. If you’re in the D.C. area, we encourage you to visit the new D.C. statehood mural. Ahead of your visit or for non-D.C. area residents, you can view photos and video from the latest art activation on LCV’s Twitter.