Women are resilient changemakers who shape the face of policy and progress. Even during a pandemic, the past year has been a historic year of firsts for women in the United States, with Kamala Harris becoming the first Black and South Asian woman to be elected as vice president, Deb Haaland becoming the first Indigenous cabinet secretary, Katherine Tai becoming the first woman of color and first Asian American serving as U.S. trade representative, and many more experienced and highly qualified women taking their place in leadership positions throughout government.
Yet the recent misogynistic, anti-Asian attacks in Atlanta are a horrifying indicator of just how much work we have left to do to ensure that everyone can live healthy, safe lives. Across the country, there have been more than 3,700 anti-Asian hate crimes over the last year, with women reporting hate incidents 2.3 times more than men.
Both the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic also disproportionately impact women, especially women of color. Due to the pandemic, U.S. women have left the workforce in alarming numbers and have lost a net of 5.4 million jobs — 1 million more than their male counterparts. In fact, in December of 2020, women of color accounted for all of the recorded job losses. People living in poverty are exposed to climate disasters at a greater rate, and women are more likely than men to face economic insecurity. That’s why solutions to both the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic need to center and uplift women. Creating a world that works for women is imperative to an equitable, sustainable future.
Here are LCV’s Top 5 Stories of March 2021:
This month, LCV, in partnership with Climate Power and Potential Energy Coalition, launched a public awareness campaign to elevate the immediate need to make transformational investments in clean energy and infrastructure.
The multi-million dollar paid media and grassroots campaign, called “The Great American Build,” is backed by climate and environmental organizations, racial justice organizations, organized labor, progressive groups, and leaders from across the country. The campaign focuses on the urgent and immediate need for transformational investments in our nation’s infrastructure and pushes for bold, sweeping climate action. The commitment to this action is what motivated millions of voters to deliver a pro-climate sweep of the White House, U.S. House, and Senate.
The campaign launched with a television spot titled, “Calling All Builders.” The spot began airing on cable TV in the Washington, D.C. area in mid-March. Read more about the campaign and watch the first TV ad here.
Related: Watch LCV President Gene Karpinski on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal in an interview discussing the urgent need for the Biden administration and Congress to take action on climate, clean energy, and environmental racism.
New polling from LCV and Climate Power highlights the overwhelming popularity — 60% of voters nationally — of transformational clean energy investments as part of President Biden’s Build Back Better Recovery plan. A majority of voters — 66% nationally and 64% in the battleground states of AZ, FL, GA, NC, NH, NV, OH, PA, and WI — are also favorable that Biden’s plan “would create new, good-paying jobs by making major investments to expand the use of clean energy, including solar power and wind energy.”
Importantly, seven in 10 voters say that the plan’s emphasis on clean energy investments makes them more likely to support it, including four in 10 who are much more likely to support it because of its emphasis on clean energy.
Recently, the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act of 2021 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. This comprehensive climate bill contains a bold and forward-looking provision: a revised Clean Commute for Kids Act, which authorizes an investment of $25 billion to rapidly transition almost half the school bus fleet to clean, electric buses and targets grants to school districts serving communities with unhealthy air pollution and lower incomes.
This bill has been a long time coming, as the Electric School Bus (ESB) Coalition — a diverse partnership of equity, labor, public health, clean energy, and environmental organizations, including LCV — has worked for years to secure funding to help transition our nation’s school bus fleets to clean energy. In advance of the bill’s release, LCV’s Chispa and the Electric School Bus Coalition sent a letter encouraging the Biden-Harris administration to make the same big investment in the transition of our nation’s school bus fleet, especially in communities of color, for those facing worse air quality, and for those with lower incomes.
“Investing $25 billion would mean helping 25 million children riding school buses breathe cleaner air in the formative years when their lungs are developing,” said Johana Vicente, National Director of Chispa. “After years of parents, students, and advocates organizing for a clean ride for kids, we are excited to work with Congress to pass funding to bring more electric school buses to communities throughout the country.”
Earlier this month, LCV released a letter from 70 mayors who joined together to show support for confronting America’s nature and climate crisis. The mayors of Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Grand Rapids, and Boise were among those who pledged their support for the national goal of protecting at least 30% of America’s lands, waters, and ocean by 2030, known as “30 by 30” or “30×30.”
The letter, which LCV organized in partnership with our network of state LCVs, comes in the wake of President Biden’s historic and ambitious Executive Order committing the United States to reaching 30×30 in collaboration with local stakeholders. To highlight the mayors’ collective support for 30×30, LCV released this video.
“We applaud these mayors, many of whom have been committed to big climate and conservation goals for years, on their leadership,” said Alex Taurel, LCV Conservation Program Director. “30×30 creates the opportunity to expand access to nature and make it more equitable, fight climate change, and impede wildlife extinctions. LCV is all-in to help these leaders and President Biden reach and exceed this goal.”
This week, LCV launched digital ads in Arizona and Georgia urging constituents to thank Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema and Georgia Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock for supporting S. 1, the For the People Act. The ads are part of a larger coalition effort with End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund (ECU) in support of the For the People Act.
“Passing the For the People Act and reforming our democracy would supersede blatantly racist state voter suppression laws like Georgia’s and return power to the overwhelming majority of people in this country who want to see meaningful action on climate change,” said Justin Kwasa, LCV Voting Rights Program Director.
Since the 2020 election, 43 states have already introduced, prefiled, or carried more than 250 bills to restrict or limit voting access this year, many intentionally written to suppress the record numbers of Black and Brown voters who overcame barriers to vote last year. The sweeping ‘Jim Crow 2.0‘ elections bill enacted in Georgia last week is the latest example of hundreds of blatant attacks on Black voters who overcame barriers to vote in the 2020 election. ‘Read more about the 70 mayors’ commitments and see the full letter here.
’ elections bill enacted in Georgia last week is the latest example of hundreds of blatant attacks on Black voters who overcame barriers to vote in the 2020 election. Enacting the For the People Act will supersede these suppressive state laws and modernize the United States’ voting system to ensure a consistent and accessible process for voters across the country.
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