“When Kenosha police brutally shot Jacob Blake and armed vigilantes killed protesters supporting Black lives, our nation was, once again, confronted with the ugly realities of systemic racism. And we know these realities are not new — 57 years ago, our civil rights heroes marched on Washington, demanding an end to the same oppression. Right now, in this moment, supporting Black lives is not just about recognizing the reality of this unabating oppression, but taking action to protect Black lives and uplift Black voices. It’s about making a commitment to dismantle the systems of oppression that harm Black people every single day.”
–LCV Chief Officer for Racial Justice and Equity Leslie R. Hinkson in a statement about LCV’s support of the movement for Black lives today and every day, on the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington. Please take a moment to read the full statement here.
On August 12, former Vice President Joe Biden announced his vice presidential nominee, Senator Kamala Harris. LCV Action Fund released statements of congratulations and celebration for Harris’s history-making nomination.
Carol Browner, Board Chair for LCV, highlighted how Harris’s public service and historic nomination has and will continue to further environmental and racial justice. “Senator Harris has helped lead the fight to center racial justice and equity in our national environmental policies and pushed to hold the Trump administration accountable for their harmful rollbacks of environmental protections that most negatively impact low-income families and communities of color … The history she is making as the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to run on a major political party national ticket will help break down barriers and make our democracy more fair and accessible to all.” Read the full statement here.
Tiernan Sittenfeld, LCV Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, noted Harris’s longstanding commitment to environmental issues throughout her career. “Senator Harris has been a long-time champion for climate action and environmental justice, from starting the first environmental crimes unit in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to her work prosecuting polluters and defending California’s climate law as Attorney General. She’s continued to build on that leadership with her 91% lifetime score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard and recent introduction of the Climate Equity Act and the Environmental Justice for All Act in the Senate, and we know she will continue the fight for a more just solution to the climate crisis. Read the full statement here.
A New York Times article published on August 18 discusses how climate donors, including donors to LCV Victory Fund’s platform GiveGreen, are providing “a growing counterweight to oil, gas and coal money that has long warped the energy conversation in Washington.”
The article notes that the politics of climate have changed since 2009, when “the Obama administration’s environmental team called a group of climate activists to the White House to deliver a message: Climate change doesn’t sell…” In 2020, the article states, climate donors “are working overtime to show candidates that campaigning to eliminate emissions from fossil fuels pays — in cash.”
This change is in no small part thanks to the efforts of LCV Victory Fund, and other green groups, to showcase the political power of the environmental movement. One way we have done this is through the donation platform GiveGreen, a project of LCV Victory Fund, NextGen America, and NRDC Action Fund PAC. GiveGreen’s massive growth over the years is featured in the article:
As of Tuesday the group had helped raise $30.39 million for races up and down the ballot, a figure that includes the $15 million that Climate Leaders for Biden raised for the candidate, said Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters. That total has already broken the group’s record of $23 million raised during the 2018 midterm elections. The group raised $8 million in the 2016 election.
On August 15, artists from across Atlanta, in collaboration with the Georgia Conservation Voters Education Fund, unveiled Honor the Vote, a community art intervention that marks the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and drives home the narrative that we must do so much more to protect our democracy.
The event was designed to build community and engage viewers in civic action through the use of artist-rendered voting booths that recognize the legacy of civil rights leaders and the importance of expanding safe access to democracy for all. The event was held in front of Atlanta’s 60-foot memorial to the late Congressman John Lewis, who was brutally beaten in 1965 while demonstrating for voting rights in Selma, AL, and whose activism spurred the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
On the eve of the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, LCV Voting Rights Program Director Justin Kwasa hosted a conversation highlighting LCVEF’s Democracy For All program and discussing the importance of protecting voting rights and creating a stronger, more inclusive democracy, especially amidst a pandemic that makes this election unlike any other in history. The discussion included voting rights leaders Stacey Abrams and former U.S. attorney general Eric H. Holder, Jr., as well as the Conservation Voters Movement’s Gayla Tillman, who is a community leader and civic engagement organizer at Georgia Conservation Voters.
Tillman illuminated the ways in which voting rights and the climate crisis intersect in people’s daily lives, emphasizing, “The fight for the right to vote — the fight for being counted — is very much intertwined with the fight to take a breath that is free from chemicals and harm. Black people, communities of color, and young people are paying attention, and we’re getting involved because we care about equity for all of us.”
Related: Grist profiles Rialin Flores, a Latina conservation leader and the Executive Director of Conservation Voters for Idaho, for its annual Grist 50 list of emerging leaders with the boldest, most innovative solutions to save the planet.
The preservation of and access to public lands is incredibly important to Montana residents, but U.S. Senator Steve Daines continues to push policies and take stances that strip Montanans of their right to these lands.
Earlier this month, LCV’s state affiliate, Montana Conservation Voters, released an ad and launched a website to educate voters on Sen. Daines’s refusal to stand up to President Trump’s controversial nomination of William Perry Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley has a long record of opposing public lands, even writing a 2016 opinion piece titled, “The Federal Government Should Follow the Constitution and Sell Its Western Lands.” Watch the video and learn more about MCV’s campaign against Pendley here.
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