Stories From the Field: “It’s Good to Shake it Up a Little”

Nov 4, 2022

“I have a son, and he wants to have children,” says Jeremy K., a longtime organizer and environmental activist. “What hangs in the balance is whether we’re able to maintain a livable planet or not for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.”   

Jeremy is 66 years old and has been active in political campaigns since 1983, when his interest in activism was sparked by the threat of nuclear war. He still lives just twenty miles north of one of the country’s major nuclear bomb plants, Rocky Flats in Colorado, which is now closed down but served as an epicenter for political activism in the early 80’s.

Just like he did back then, Jeremy’s advice for others looking to get involved is to “ find out what’s going on in your community and give it a try. The hardest part is getting started. If you don’t like the first thing you find, try something else.” You’ll likely be hooked by the experience.

This election cycle, Jeremy is volunteering in support of Yadira Caraveo’s campaign to represent Colorado’s 8th District in Congress. Through LCV’s 2022 GreenRoots program, LCV members like Jeremy are plugging in to campaigns across the country to help elect 50 of LCV Action Fund’s endorsed climate and environmental justice champions. Jeremy is one of the program’s 2,000 volunteers who together have reached hundreds of thousands of voters by knocking on doors, making phone calls, waving signs, text banking, and letter and postcard writing. 

Jeremy has lived in Colorado for most of his life, and is driven to act in part by his firsthand experience with the effects of a changing climate. “In December of last year, we had a completely unusual, unprecedented major fire that destroyed a thousand homes, just a few miles from where I sit right now. That’s not livable.” Colorado’s driest fall on record, an unprecedented December wildfire, extreme summer temperatures, and Colorado’s 2013 floods all make Jeremy acutely aware that our planet is in need of fighting for.

Despite holding these challenges in his mind, connecting with people in his community around these issues has been fulfilling for Jeremy. “It’s not so difficult when you get to talk to an individual at the door of their homes,” he says. Jeremy’s favorite part of political activism is talking to voters directly. When you first start canvassing, he reminds people, “you might only find someone answering the door in one or two out of 10 doors that you knock on… but know that the people you’re reaching is significant, and that you’re finding votes.”

He chuckles, adding: “it’s kind of like a slot machine. I’m not a gambler, but maybe that random reinforcement — where you press that bar (or knock on someone’s door) and ‘what do you know, I get to talk to someone now and then’ — works with me when it comes to having conversations with voters. It’s a fun way to look at it.” 

Jeremy doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. “As a 66 year old man, it’s been a really great opportunity for me to form some relationships with some young people. Some of the other volunteers and the three organizers in the office are just really great, smart, interesting, creative, committed individuals, and I never would have met anyone like that if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing. It’s good to shake it up a little, get out of your usual cocoon, and meet some other people. It’s a really great experience.”