November Top 5 2021

This Holiday season, we slow down to reflect on all that we are grateful for and come together to give thanks. As we spend time with those we are thankful for, LCV is also reflecting on how fortunate we are to count you among our supporters. To our staff, our organizers and volunteers on the ground, our leaders out front, our partner organizations, and, you, our donors: thank you.

We could not do the timely, urgent work of pushing for transformative climate, clean energy, jobs, and environmental justice legislation without you. Your generosity, time, energy, and partnership is what powers LCV’s and the Conservation Voter Movement‘s efforts to create a healthier, safer, and more just world for all.

This year, our top priority has been enacting into law transformative, equitable climate action in the Build Back Better Act, which was passed by the House on November 19. Once passed by the Senate and signed by President Biden, it will be the strongest and most significant action the U.S. has ever taken to combat climate change. This historic step forward is only possible because of supporters like you who have fueled the work of LCV and our partners in the climate, labor, and environmental justice movements with generosity and dedication to this cause.

Because of your collective support and commitment, LCV was able to launch an advocacy and organizing campaign unprecedented in scale and size in our 50-year history to help make climate action a priority among constituents, who in turn made it a priority among members of Congress. Thanks to you, LCV and our campaign partner Climate Power have invested over $48 million to run more than 185 ads in 33 House districts and seven states important to Senate support touting the opportunities around climate, clean energy, jobs, and justice in the Build Back Better Act. We’ve also been able to demonstrate strong, visible support for climate action in key Congressional districts and states around the country. Thus far, we’ve:

  • Knocked on nearly 400,000 doors,
  • Distributed more than 16,500 “Climate Action Now” yard signs,
  • Secured the support of more than 15,000 small businesses, and
  • Activated more than 22,000 new LCV members to participate in our campaign.

This work has a real impact. Together, we have helped make climate action a unifying priority for members of Congress and the single biggest area of investment — $555 billion — in the Build Back Better Act. Poll after poll demonstrates that the climate and clean energy components in the Build Back Better Act — which will result in cleaner air to breathe and water to drink, $500-per-year savings on household energy bills, and the creation of more good-paying union jobs in the clean energy industry are popular amongst voters across the political spectrum.

This popularity among constituents hasn’t occurred by accident. It’s because of the countless hours and millions of dollars invested in making the passage of the Build Back Better Act — and specifically its climate, clean energy, jobs, and environmental justice provisions — a winning issue for the public and legislators alike. None of this would be possible without you. Thank you.

And now, here is your LCV Top 5 for November:

1) TIME Magazine: U.S. School Buses May Never Be The Same Thanks to Biden’s Infrastructure Plan
For years, LCV’s Chispa program has been organizing and advocating for the replacement of dirty diesel school buses with clean electric-powered buses through the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign. On November 15th, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which contains a $2.5 billion allocation for electric school buses. The investment will begin the transition to cleaner buses for the 25 million children who ride polluting school buses every day.

TIME published an article on the historic nature of this investment and quoted LCV Chispa National Senior Director Johana Vicente in the article:

“The burden of those health problems falls heaviest on low-income communities of color, says Johana Vicente, national senior director at Chispa, the Latinx-oriented branch of the League of Conservation Voters based in Washington D.C. Spurred by asthma and other health effects they saw among children, Chispa began that year [2017] to campaign to electrify the nation’s buses. “School buses were not necessarily part of the conversation at all,” says Vicente. “It was a very new topic that we were talking about.”

The article goes on to note that Chispa’s leadership on this issue — and “a pretty much inarguable case” for cleaning up the air our children breathe — encouraged other organizations to join the fight for clean school buses. Thank you, Chispa!

In response to President Biden signing into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 15, the Alliance for Electric School Buses — a coalition led by Chispa that represents environmental, equity, community, and labor groups who advocate for an equitable transition to zero-emission school buses — issued a statement noting that though the work to fund the full transition of the nation’s school bus fleet to zero-emission models continues, the coalition is encouraged by this initial investment in the health, safety, and well-being of our children. Read the full statement here and the TIME article here.

2) 2021 State Elections Recap
On Tuesday, November 3, we saw disappointing losses in Virginia’s state elections. Yet at the same time, we were encouraged by the environmental champions who claimed victory in key races across the country. Numerous young, Black, Brown, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and Arab American candidates put climate action and environmental justice front and center in their elections and won.

Victories for climate champion at the state and local level include:

  • New Jersey re-elected Phil Murphy, one of the nation’s greenest governors.
  • Boston’s new Mayor Michelle Wu, a staunch advocate for climate action, is the first person of color and first woman elected to lead her city and the second woman of color to lead the city behind Acting Mayor Kim Janey.
  • Conservation Ohio, LCV’s state affiliate, helped secure major victories in municipal elections across the state, including Cleveland
  • Mayor-Elect Justin Bibb, Lima Mayor-Elect Sharetta Smith, and Cincinnati Mayor-Elect Aftab Pureval.
  • In Dearborn, Michigan: State Representative, former Michigan LCV board member, and Mayor-Elect Abdullah Hammoud is a fierce advocate for clean water and air, as well as protecting ballot access for all and will take office as the city’s first Arab-American mayor.

Electing climate champions to state and local offices is vital to ensuring that our nation can meet overall climate goals and implement federal climate action through the Build Back Better Act. Much of the climate and clean energy progress our movement has made over the last five years has come from state and local leaders who pledged to address the climate crisis head-on. As a result of their leadership, 1 in 3 people in this country now live in a place committed to 100% clean energy. Read more about the climate champions elected to state and local office here.

3) LCV’s Candidate Recruitment & Training Program – Fall 2021 Update
In 2020, LCV launched our candidate recruitment and training program with the ambitious goals of transforming who takes part of our government and making sure that state and local boards, commissions, and elected offices are more reflective of our country. This work is at the heart of LCV’s theory of change: To solve the climate crisis, defend and strengthen our democracy, and confront racial injustice, we must advocate for policy change, hold our elected officials accountable, mobilize and build grassroots power in communities, and elect candidates who share our values and represent a diverse cross-section of our nation. Recent highlights include:

  • Through our partnership with Contest Every Race, we recruited 12 LCV members to run in eight states in rural-district races that would typically fly under our radar.
  • We launched and are continuing a series of webinars that connect us with Conservation Voter Movement members across the country who may be interested in running for office.
  • These webinars also allow us to expand and deepen partnerships with other organizations in the democracy and elections space, including the North Carolina Black Alliance, Run for Something, Climate Cabinet, Sierra Club, and Elect Black Women PAC.

In November, LCV released an updated Candidate Recruitment & Training program overview. We are so grateful for all the candidates who participated in and those who partnered with us to offer training this year. We encourage you to read the whole document here.

4) LCV Releases New Video Highlighting Artists Calling for Climate Action
LCV released a new video in early November highlighting our collaboration with artists across the country who are organizing community art in conjunction with activists. Together, they are emphasizing the urgent need for climate action, justice, and clean energy jobs to address the climate crisis.

Advocates, business owners, and community members across the country have made it clear that the climate crisis is impacting their daily lives and Congress must take action now to put our country on a clear path to cutting in half planet-warming pollution by 2030. LCV-sponsored art installations are uplifting these community voices and raising awareness through chalk and window murals, wood carvings, a 9,000lb ice sculpture, and even a sculpture made from vegan butter. Watch this inspiring recap of artists engaged in climate activism here.

5) New Website Calls Out Toyota’s Greenwashing
On November 8th, LCV joined Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Citizen, and Moms Clean Air Force for the launch of a new website, Pollutamotor.com, highlighting how Toyota is working to limit the transition to electric vehicles, even as it publicly sells itself on sustainability. For example, Toyota continues to lobby against cleaner cars standards and a provision in the Build Back Better Act that would expand the federal electric vehicle tax credit, which is backed by labor unions, major automakers, environmental organizations, and over 100 U.S. House members.

“From lavishing money on January 6th insurrectionists, to fighting tooth and nail against regulations to clean up our air quality, to lobbying to obstruct historic investments in zero- emissions vehicles in the Build Back Better Act, Toyota is stuck in reverse,” said LCV Senior Director of Government Affairs Matthew Davis. “We need to advance the clean transportation system of the future — electric vehicles will help tackle climate change and toxic air pollution — and Congress should swiftly pass the Build Back Better Act to fulfill that equitable and safe future.” Read more about how Toyota is helping to fuel the climate crisis and pollution instead of finding solutions for a clean energy future here.

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