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This Week In Climate Action

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE ACTION – October 14, 2022

Oct 14, 2022

Your weekly resource to learn what the environmental movement is saying about the news of the day and the political fight of our generation. Be sure to follow LCV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

“The environmental justice community as a whole is learning how to play the Washington, D.C., landscape in a way that we had not been able to do before. There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s the first time we’ve actually seen an argument, head-to-head policy, and not seen the EJ community get rolled.”

— Raul Garcia, legislative director for Healthy Communities in the Policy and Legislation unit at Earthjustice, talking about the environmental justice community’s increasing power to influence legislation. Advocates are currently pushing for a House floor vote on the Environmental Justice for all Act. 

“These are real things that people have demanded for a long time and things that are going to make a big difference in how we approach these dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.” 

— Beau Kiklis, public lands advocate at Conservation Colorado speaking on the Biden administration’s Wednesday announcement declaring Camp Hale-Continental Divide a National Monument. Combined with a new effort to protect the Thompson Divide near Carbondale, the designation is one of the largest conservation efforts in Colorado in generations.

“Creo que está es una oportunidad para que nuestros oficiales electos digan ‘bueno, hay que poner manos a la obra’…porque vamos a seguir teniendo huracanes. Es un trabajo de día a día. Y es un trabajo que  tenemos que hacer de corazón, por nuestra gente.”

Translation: “I think this is an opportunity for our elected officials to say ‘it’s time to get to work, all hands on deck.’ Because we are going to keep having hurricanes. It’s work that we have to do every day. And it’s work that we have to do with heart, for our people.”

— Susana Restrepo, community organizer with Chispa Florida, who is working to rebuild her community after the devastation of Hurricane Ian. She wants all residents, particularly those in undocumented communities, to know that there are resources available for those that are struggling at 857-247-2306.

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BUILDING MORE ENTRY POINTS FOR LATINXS IN THE OUTDOORS: Each month, Chispa Arizona hosts hikes and other outdoor community engagement events for participants to build connections with the land, their ancestral history, and each other. To celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month, LCV released a blog post highlighting the voices of an intergenerational group of 24 hikers who embarked on a weekend-long trip to the Grand Canyon with Chispa Arizona. Community members heard from Indigenous leaders about the history of the Canyon and efforts to protect it. They also grew community with one another through engaging in art and practicing communal living.

OUR TAKE: Chispa Arizona Federal Climate Organizer DJ Portugal said, “We take ourselves to places that historically haven’t seen us, and where we haven’t felt comfortable. I feel that is the beginning of igniting this interest and curiosity, whether it’s conservation or climate or decolonization. All these entry points are sparks for the community.”

OUR TAKE: Chispa Arizona member Vero Gonzalez, who attended the Grand Canyon hike in August, said (translated from Spanish), “Never in my years in the United States have I gone hiking. Walking under the rain and meeting new people with the same experiences as me as a mother and migrant was something special. Being able to learn from the Indigenous people and learn that they are still here in the fight for Madre Tierra gave me the energy to understand my ancestors and how I was impacted by colonization – not just me, but my daughters as well. And watching my daughter who is the social media manager laugh and live her fight for Madre Tierra filled me with pride.”

LCV VICTORY FUND ADDS JOE O’DEA TO ‘DIRTY DOZEN’; LAUNCHES $1.3M+ ANTI-O’DEA AD BUY IN CO SENATE RACE: With less than one month until Election Day, LCV Victory Fund announced  this week that Colorado Senate candidate Joe O’Dea is the latest addition to their 2022 House and Senate Dirty Dozen list of the worst anti-environmental candidates. LCVVF also launched new anti-O’Dea ads on TV and digital totaling over $1.3 million.

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Across the country, the same candidates who attack clean energy jobs, want to block climate action, and protect big polluters are the same people trying to undermine our democracy. Up and down the ticket voters have a clear choice this election and working with our state affiliates, we are determined to make sure they know who is on their side.”

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Regional Campaigns Director Eva Estrada said, “Joe O’Dea is a wolf in sheep’s clothing –  we put him on the Dirty Dozen list because he’s as extreme as they come. O’Dea’s dangerous positions on climate change, Social Security, and oil and gas drilling on public lands would hurt the people of Colorado and take our country backward. Coloradans have a proven champion for their health, the environment, and their pocketbooks in Sen. Michael Bennet.”

MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS LAUNCH LARGEST-EVER MEMBER MOBILIZATION TO ELECT PRO-ENVIRONMENT CANDIDATES: On Wednesday, major U.S. environmental groups jointly announced their community’s largest-ever member mobilization effort. Participating groups include Clean Energy for America, EDF Action, the League of Conservation Voters, the NRDC Action Fund, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund, Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society Action Fund. The effort will activate millions of members across America through door-to-door canvassing, texting, letter-writing, phone banking and other tactics to help get out the vote for pro-environment candidates in the final weeks of the 2022 political cycle.

OUR TAKE: League of Conservation Voters Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said, “Elections have consequences. After voters elected a president who ran on the most ambitious climate agenda ever and pro-climate majorities in the Senate and House in 2020, they delivered the biggest investment ever in climate and environmental justice with the Inflation Reduction Act. It is absolutely critical that we elect more climate champions to the Senate and House. We are proud that LCV’s members are working hard all across the country with other environmental advocates to do just that so we can continue building a just and equitable clean energy future.” 

EDF ACTION VOTES, LCV VICTORY FUND LAUNCH $3 MILLION ANTI-BOLDUC TV AD IN NH SENATE RACE: EDF Action Votes and LCV Victory Fund launched a $3 million TV ad on Thursday, “Listen to Don,” in opposition to Don Bolduc in the New Hampshire Senate race, to help re-elect Sen. Maggie Hassan. The broadcast TV ad runs for three weeks and shines a spotlight on Don Bolduc’s plans to destroy Social Security and Medicare.

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Regional Campaigns Director Eva Estrada said, “From wanting to destroy Medicare and Social Security to enthusiastically supporting the Big Lie, Don Bolduc is a flip-flopping MAGA extremist through and through. One thing is for sure: New Hampshire families can’t count on Don Bolduc to stand up for them. New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan is a champion for people and the planet. She is fighting for lower costs, clean energy jobs, and climate action – it’s time to send Sen. Hassan back to Washington.”

MEMO: WEEKLY LCV VICTORY FUND UPDATE – 10/13/22: While little is certain with less than one month to go until Election Day, a few things remain clear: voters still rank the climate crisis as a top priority, Democrats are the only party that passed a transformational climate law, and voters trust Democrats far more than Republicans on climate. LCV Victory Fund is throwing everything it’s got into engaging and turning out climate voters in support of key pro-environment candidates in the last few weeks. Read more updates about LCVVF’s field program, paid media, and Dirty Dozen here.

HARNESSING COMMUNITY POWER: This Friday, Chispa LCV joined Poderistas, a community built to celebrate Latina culture and harness the power of community, for an in-person Cafecito and breakfast event in Las Vegas to discuss all the ways in which communities can harness their power this election to ensure their voices are heard. See more from the event here.

A BIG WIN FOR PUBLIC LANDS! On Wednesday, President Biden designated Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument and announced plans to better protect the Thompson Divide in Colorado.  

OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “President Biden designating Camp Hale-Continental Divide as the first national monument of this administration and additional protections for the Thompson Divide are big victories for Colorado and the country. The extensive history of the military and outdoor recreation industry, along with vital ecological resources and wildlife habitats in the region are worthy of permanent protection. LCV appreciates the tireless leadership of local advocates and officials as well as Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Governor Jared Polis, and Congressman Joe Neguse. We hope this is one of many new national monuments in the near future and look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to protect additional lands and waters across the country.”

CC TAKE: Conservation’s Colorado’s CEO Kelly Nordini said, “This is big! We have been working for over a decade with bipartisan community supporters for the permanent protection of the Camp Hale-Continental Divide area and we’re thrilled about the additional protections planned for the Thompson Divide. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, and Congressman Joe Neguse have done Colorado proud with their leadership to protect these landscapes for generations to come. Thank you President Biden for making this your first, of hopefully many to come, monument designations that protect the places people love and boost local economies.”

FOLLOWING CAMP HALE NATIONAL MONUMENT DESIGNATION, LCV VICTORY FUND LAUNCHES CO SENATE AD BUY: Following President Biden’s designation of Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument in Colorado, the president’s first national monument designation, LCV Victory Fund announced a new ad in support of Senator Michael Bennet in the Colorado Senate race, “Wins, Loses.” The new ad commends Senator Bennet for working across party lines to protect historic Camp Hale and push for hundreds of thousands of additional public lands to be protected through the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) Act. Bennet’s Republican opponent Joe O’Dea, who is a member of LCV Victory Fund’s 2022 Dirty Dozen list of the worst anti-environment candidates this cycle, opposes the CORE Act and has said he wants to expand oil and gas drilling on public lands. 

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund SVP of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Coloradans have a choice between their hardworking, pro-environment Senator Michael Bennet who made sure President Biden’s first national monument declaration of his presidency was right here in Colorado – and extreme MAGA Republican Joe O’Dea who outright opposes public lands protections and wants to see more dirty, dangerous oil and gas leasing in the Centennial State. The choice could not be more clear. We have Senator Michael Bennet to thank for the new Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument and we need to send him back to Washington this fall.”

CAMP HALE NATIONAL MONUMENT DESIGNATION ENCOURAGES PUSH FOR MORE MONUMENTS: As we celebrate the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument designation, we also stand with local and national leaders who are continuously pushing for the designation of Castner Range and Avi Kwa Ame as national monuments. This week, the Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition and Honor Avi Kwa Ame hosted an event at the site after a recent visit from Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. 

EL PASO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION TAKE: President and CEO of El Paso Community Foundation Eric Pearson said, “The designation of Camp Hale as a national monument sets the tone for what I hope will be a strong legacy of conservation left by POTUS. Our hope is that #Castner4Ever will be one of his designations in the very near future.”

HONOR AVI KWA AME COALITION TAKE: The Honor Avi Kwa Ame Coalition released the following statement: “As we, the Honor Avi Kwa Ame coalition, celebrate Camp Hale’s designation we also hope to see President Biden announce a plan to designate Avi Kwa Ame very soon. Congresswoman Dina Titus filed legislation in the House for the designation of Avi Kwa Ame earlier this year. We’re thrilled by today’s news in hopes that it shows new momentum on behalf of the administration to protect unique and important landmarks and outdoor spaces.”

NEVADA OUTDOOR BUSINESS COALITION TAKE: Founder and President of the Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition Meghan Wolf said, “Protecting Avi Kwa Ame and other parks and public lands will create economic opportunities for people across Nevada and the nation. A growing outdoor economy reflects the diverse values of our community.” 

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE STATES:

ENVIRONMENT IS ON THE BALLOT IN THESE KEY STATES: Every election year a handful of statewide ballot initiatives carry high stakes for the environment.This year, there are two, in California and New York, that have a large stake in our fight against the climate crisis. 

OUR TAKE: LCV State Communications Director Nick Abraham said, “Typically initiatives are brought to the people because a policy can’t make it through the legislature. But it’s extremely expensive and difficult to run a ballot initiative campaign, to not only get the signatures necessary but also to win at the ballot.There’s much more work to do, to be sure, but I think often initiatives come out of frustration with the process. As more progress is made with lawmakers, people need initiatives less and less.”

NYLCV TAKE: New York LCV President Julie Tighe said, “It’s been a generation since we’ve done an environmental bond act. [If passed, it would represent] the largest investment the state of New York has ever made in the environment in a single tranche. We’re really excited about helping to jumpstart this transition to protect our communities and make sure our infrastructure is in good shape.”

CEV TAKE: California Environmental Voters Ballot Initiative Coordinator Oscar Garcia said, “We need a dedicated revenue source like Prop 30 to make headway in an equitable and fair way. And this initiative goes toward combating catastrophic wildfires, bringing charging infrastructure into low-income communities, and to people who need vehicle rebates and subsidies to afford the transition to zero-emissions vehicles.”

FOSSIL FUEL FACILITIES BLOCKED IN WA CITY: The city of Vancouver, Washington permanently banned large-scale fossil fuel facilities this month. The decision came after more than a decade of advocacy by the Stand Up to Oil Coalition, which includes LCV state affiliates, Washington Conservation Voters and Washington Environmental Council. In 2020, Vancouver enacted a temporary moratorium on new fossil fuel projects which the city extended until last week when the city council unanimously passed an ordinance to institute a permanent ban.

WEC/WCV TAKE: Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters Climate & Fossil Fuel Program Director Rebecca Ponzio said, “The passage of this ordinance puts Vancouver squarely in the leadership role of protecting the health and safety of not only its own community, but those who live along the railway and waterway it is so connected to. Thank you to the community of Vancouver for your tenacity and focus on officially closing the door against dangerous fossil fuel projects.”

WORST ENVIRONMENTAL CANDIDATES IN THE STATES: LCV Victory Fund state affiliates announced the final two candidates to the 2022 Dirty Dozen in the States on Tuesday. Modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s federal Dirty Dozen, the Dirty Dozen in the States highlights 12 of the worst environmental candidates in the nation at the state and local level. The first six candidates were announced in August and another four were announced earlier this month. Members of the Dirty Dozen in the States are chosen regardless of party affiliation because they have consistently sided against the environment and are a danger to our democracy. 

The final candidates are:

  • Arizona Corporation Commission candidate, Kevin Thompson 
  • Michigan Attorney General candidate, Matthew DePerno

They join the list of previously announced candidates:

  • Connecticut candidate for Governor Bob Stefanowski 
  • Maine candidate for Governor Paul LePage
  • Maryland candidate for Governor Dan Cox
  • Nevada candidate for Secretary of State Jim Marchant
  • New Mexico candidate for Governor Mark Ronchetti 
  • Ohio candidate for Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine
  • Oregon candidate for Governor, Christine Drazan 
  • Oregan candidate for Governor, Betsy Johnson 
  • Pennsylvania Candidate for Governor Doug Mastriano
  • Wisconsin candidate for Governor Tim Michels

OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith said, “Across the country, the same candidates who attack clean energy jobs, want to block climate action and protect big polluters are the same people trying to undermine our democracy. Up and down the ticket, voters have a clear choice this election, and working with our state affiliates, we are determined to make sure they know who is on their side.”

TRAIL RIDES FOR DEMOCRACY IN UTAH: Today, the Rural Utah Project is hosting a trail ride led by Rural Utah Project Addressing Specialist Dalene Redhorse with local community members in Southern Utah to discuss voter registration and Rural Utah Project’s critical work to support mapping addresses in Navajo Nation. Through this program, more voters are able to register to vote, in addition to increasing accessibility to vital programs requiring addresses.

WISCONSIN NATIVE VOTE MURAL PREVIEW!: On Friday, October 21, Wisconsin Native Vote, a program of Wisconsin Conservation Voices, will host an event to make a plan to vote and to celebrate Indigenous peoples’ traditions with an unveiling of a mural created by artist Christopher Sweet. The event will also feature Indigenous speakers and performances from community members. Stay tuned for photos!

CHISPA MARYLAND IS READY TO VOTE: Yesterday, Chispa Maryland gathered with community members at the Colmar Manor Council Meeting in support of expanding the vote for all Colmar Manor residents (18+). The council made history and voted in favor of the measure. Expanding the vote means that people who have lived in Maryland for decades will finally be able to vote in city elections and have a say in what happens in their community. Many residents worked hard to push the effort forward, and its success will make our democracy stronger. 

COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHISPA FLORIDA: Chispa Florida attended a Community Conversations event held by Decolonizarte Teatro (@descolonizarte_teatro). Members enjoyed two extraordinary plays that opened a space for conversation on the important issues and challenges that Chispa Florida communities experience daily. Learn more about the event here.

COMING UP:

OCTOBER 18: 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act

OCTOBER 20: Next on the Docket: A Supreme Court Preview 

WHEN: October 20, 2022 at 1pm ET

WHO: LCV Advocacy Director for Judiciary and Democracy Doug Lindner and other experts from across the movement

HOSTED BY: Progressive Caucus Action Fund and Indivisible

WHERE: Zoom, click to register here 

OCTOBER 21: Wisconsin Native Vote Mural Celebration to Get Out the Native Vote

MONTH OF NOVEMBER: Native American Heritage Month 

NOVEMBER 8: Election Day