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 and Twitter.
“Breaking: Texas just surpassed its 2016 total votes cast w/ one day of early voting & Election Day left to go. The state is reporting 9,009,850 votes already cast, vs. the all-time record of 8,969,226 in 2016. This is massive.”
— Cook Political Report Editor Dave Wasserman via Twitter when Texas surpassed 2016 vote totals.
“This contest scheduled to come to a conclusion next week has been less between a Democrat and a Republican than between those trying to survive and a president watching his own nation atrophy on his own watch.”
— Rolling Stone Senior Writer Jamil Smith in his article: Trump still Wants to Be President, But He Never Wanted the Job
“Trump is trying to hang climate action around Biden’s neck but what he seems to have missed is that’s exactly what the voters want from their president.”
— LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns Pete Maysmith in the New York Times
The New York Times: Biden leans into climate change with two new ads
Yale Climate Connections: Many Latino voters in Nevada are worried about climate change
Our Daily Planet: Election Countdown: Interview with Jean-Luc Duvall, League of Conservation voters
Univision: Organizaciones comunitarias en Nevada trabajan a toda marcha para incentivar el voto hispano en las elecciones
BlackStarNews.com: Jamaal Bowman Endorsed by League of Conservation Voters and NYLCV
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Analysis: Wolves and weed–U.S. voters choose future of public lands
Politico: Campaign ads in the closing days
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:
LCV’s affiliates are hard at work protecting the environment and fighting climate change in the states. Here’s what people are reading across the country:
Energy News Network (NC): Tight down-ballot races could decide North Carolina’s energy policy future
The Cherokee Ledger News (MD): Environmental groups try to reach diverse new audiences with programming, outreach to HBCUs
Colorado Politics (CO): Environmental groups say Prop 117 will cost programs
WisPolitics.com (WI): Conservation Voters: Urge patience, vigilance as every vote is counted
The Daily Progress (VA): Buckingham’s next environmental justice fight? Maybe gold mining
WOSU Radio (OH): Issue 1: Columbus Leaders Ask Voters to Pass Clean Energy Ballot Measure
WEMU (MI): Issues of The Environment: Preserving Land in Washtenaw County One Decade At A Time
The Allegheny Front (PA): Group Looks to Turn PA General Assembly Blue to Make Progress on the Environment
T-MINUS-4-DAYS AND WE’VE DONE A LOT: With just a few days to go before Election Day, it’s increasingly clear that voters are prepared to give a stinging rebuke to President Trump’s toxic, anti-science, anti-environment, racist agenda — this election cycle, LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities invested a historic $115 million to defeat Trump and elect climate and environmental justice champions up and down the ticket. In the face of a global pandemic, a national reckoning on racial justice, and the already — too-real — impacts of climate change, we’ve had to take a different, or even more ambitious, approach to our work this election cycle. To read more about our approach and efforts, check out our memo, here.
THAT’S AN ENDORSEMENT WRAP🎁: Over this historic election cycle — with our health, our environment, and our democracy on the line — LCV Action Fund has endorsed candidates in 178 federal races, including for president, 24 for the U.S. Senate, and 153 for the U.S. House of Representatives. Of the candidates we’ve endorsed, 40% are people of color and 52% are women — making this year’s endorsements our most diverse to date and more reflective of our country’s racial and gender diversity. Find a list of all LCV Action Fund endorsed candidates for the 2019-2020 cycle here, and find a list of LCV Action Fund endorsed candidates who are making history here.
CLIMATE ON THE TRAIL: Climate change and related environmental issues have been a focus for the Biden-Harris campaign and for many of the House and Senate candidates this cycle. A group of LCV Action Fund-endorsed members of Congress who are up for re-election teamed up to create a video urging voters to cast their ballots for climate on November 3, and LCV Action Fund updated our memo, detailing climate ads and campaign trail moments focused on the environment.
VOTERS ON LCV’S IG: As we anxiously await election results, which many predict will not be immediate this year, LCV’s Democracy For All can help fill the time. We’ll be going live with our Democracy for All teams, who are on the ground in communities across the country, to hear about voting in their states. Tune in to LCV’s Instagram on Election Day.
THIS WEEK’S VF ROUND UP: Between the completely illegitimate, rushed confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and SCOTUS’ undemocratic ruling on Alabama counties’ efforts to accommodate voters with disabilities or health issues and Wisconsin mail-in ballots which, as Vox said, “a potentially seismic reinterpretation of American election law,” by Trump justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, the stakes of this election could not possibly be higher. Our democracy is on the line, and our rights to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live in safe and healthy communities are at extreme risk. With less than a week until polls close, we’re giving it everything we’ve got. Check out this week’s LCV Victory Fund program updates here.
BALLOT CURING: The New American Jobs Fund — a joint effort between LCV Victory Fund and the United Steelworkers’ USW Works — partnered with BlackPAC to start a ballot curing effort. We are following up with North Carolina voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected by the board of elections, encouraging those voters to correct any issues with their ballot or vote in person so that their vote is counted. The effort began a week ago, following the North Carolina State Board of Elections’ announcement that county boards of elections should resume ballot curing, which had been on hold in the state since October 4th.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Megan Jacobs said, “We are proud to partner with BlackPAC and the USW Works on this ballot curing effort because every eligible North Carolina voter should have their voice heard and their vote counted. Due to the coronavirus and health concerns, more people are voting absentee than ever before — we need to work extra hard this year to ensure every eligible vote is counted accurately.”
BLACKPAC’S TAKE: Executive Director of BlackPAC Adrianne Shropshire said, “In North Carolina, the massive surge in enthusiasm for voting by mail reflects both the enthusiasm on the ground for the Biden-Harris ticket and backlash to blatant attempts to suppress the Black vote in the state. BlackPAC has been proud to partner with LCV Victory Fund and USW Works to build an infrastructure to contact voters whose ballots have been rejected and let them know their options for curing their ballot. We are committed to calling or knocking on the door of every voter whose ballot has been rejected to make sure their vote is properly cast and counted.”
ENCHANTED BY LOBBYISTS: EDF Action Votes and LCV Victory Fund launched a television ad campaign exposing politician Yvette Herrell’s record of putting special interests before New Mexico’s interests. The ad outlines Herrell’s connection to corporate lobbyists while “paving the way to sell off New Mexico’s public lands.” Watch the ad here.
OUR TAKE: LCV Victory Fund National Campaigns Director Megan Jacobs said, “Yvette Harrell wants to put New Mexico’s public lands in the hands of the corporate special interests that fund her campaign instead of New Mexico’s families. We need to keep Rep. Torres Small in Washington, fighting to protect New Mexico’s public lands and way of life.”
EDF ACTION’S TAKE: EDF Action President Joe Bonfiglio said, “Just two short years ago, voters rejected politician Yvette Herrell and her special interest agenda, and now they have the opportunity to do it again. It’s all too clear that New Mexico families can’t trust Herrell to stand up to the special interests.”
SUPREME SHAM: McConnell’s Senate managed to force Amy Coney Barrett through a rushed and illegitimate confirmation process, all while refusing to vote on desperately needed COVID relief to people all across the country. After hearings where Coney Barrett refused, on multiple occasions, to acknowledge the basic science of climate change, Senate Republicans have approved her lifetime nomination to the highest court in the land, a supreme power grab just a week before our country’s elections.
OUR TAKE: LCV President Gene Karpinski said, “As communities deal with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic reaching its highest level ever in recent days, this president and Senate Republicans have willfully chosen to allow families to continue to suffer, in order to achieve their partisan takeover of the courts. Each senator who voted to confirm Judge Barrett holds personal responsibility and must be held to account…The stakes of next week’s election were already higher than ever, but this vote underscores who is fighting to protect our communities, and who has abandoned us for partisan gain.”
DOUBLE TAKE: Watch LCV Judiciary Program Director Ben Driscoll’s (feat. baby Jack) take on the illegitimate confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, here. Ben points out, “The stakes have never been higher: climate action, racial justice, health care, voting rights, the very future of our children is on the line.”
TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST🌲🚦🚧: The Trump administration, just six days ahead of a monumental election, decided to roll back the Roadless Rule and open more than 9.3 million acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging and development. At a time when our nation continues to battle converging crises — a pandemic, racial and economic injustice, and the climate crisis — this administration is, once again, prioritizing industry over people’s wellbeing by undermining one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests, which is critical to Indigenous communities and mitigating the climate crisis. It’s time to vote this administration out — Hit the road, Trump.
OUR TAKE: LCV Conservation Program Director Alex Taurel said, “With just days until the election, the Trump administration has once again mounted a merciless attack on our environment. As COVID-19 cases spike, Trump should be focused on passing meaningful relief and protecting the health of communities during this pandemic, not pushing through one of the biggest public lands rollbacks we’ve seen in the last four years. Alaska’s Tongass National Forest is one of the world’s only remaining temperate rainforests and a massive carbon sink. It is home to an abundance of wildlife and serves as a natural filtration system providing drinking water to many Alaskan communities and Tribal Nations. It should be protected and cherished, not opened up for clear-cut logging, putting the health and fishing and tourism economies of neighboring communities at risk.”
CLIMATE VOTERS PANEL: Just ahead of the most important Election Day of our lives, LCV President Gene Karpinski joined a webinar, organized by the Society of Environmental Journalists, to discuss the definitive role that the climate crisis has played in voters’ ballot box decisions, from national to local races. One thing is clear: the 2020 elections are the last best chance to choose leaders who will approach our country’s converging crises — a pandemic, economic and racial injustice, and the climate crisis — with the empathy and seriousness people across our country deserve.
TALKING MADRE TIERRA 🎥🎬: LCV’s Chispa Communications Director Pita Juarez joined the Redford Center’s Meet the Moment series this week to discuss her new short film Fighting for Madre Tierra, which was released as a part of the Redford Center’s Power the Vote campaign. Filmmakers and youth activists came together, a week before the biggest elections of our life, to discuss environmental justice as a reason to vote — through their Power the Vote Films, these filmmakers are vying to shift perceptions of what it means to be an environmentalist and voter.
CONCIENCIA COLLECTIVE: Chispa Deputy Director Estefany Carrasco-González, who shared her story as a first time voter in the short film Fighting for Madre Tierra ☝, joined Conciencia Collective for an Instagram live. The charla included thoughts on environmental justice, getting out the Latinx vote, and behind-the-scenes insight from filming Fighting For Madre Tierra. Estefany summed it up: “Through our vote and being counted in the Census — we are making sure that our communities’ power is seen and heard, especially for those who can’t participate.”
🎧MADRE TIERRA PLAYLIST 🔊🎵: Chispa partnered with Tidal to create a one-of-a-kind Madre Tierra Mixtape to get voters excited to go to the polls this week. Curated by the Chispa team, this Mixtape is our walkup song to voting, featuring songs about taking care of Madre Tierra by Latinx artists.
FORD + GM KNEW: Much like Big Oil knew and Big Oil lied about their contributions to climate change — and have convinced elected officials like Donald Trump to complicitly ignore the science and wellbeing of people everywhere — E&E has revealed that two of our country’s largest automakers, General Motors and Ford Motor Co., also knew, as early as the 1960s, that car emissions were causing climate change. Nevertheless, the car manufacturing giants prioritized their business profits and lobbied, for decades, to undermine efforts to reduce emissions and make cleaner cars. Too many times, when corporations are faced with a choice to shift their business models away from known harmful impacts, they choose business as usual, which is why we need policymakers, like a Biden-Harris administration, who will hold them accountable for more than profits.
TRI-STATE PARTNERSHIP WORKS TO PROMOTE CLEAN POWER (NC, VA, MD): North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia have formed a partnership designed to “promote, develop, and expand offshore wind energy generation and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce.” Governors Roy Cooper, Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER). The three states will form a leadership team that will work to streamline the development of regional offshore wind resources.
IDAHO POWER LEAVES MAJOR COAL PLANT 3 YEARS EARLY (ID): In a major shift towards clean energy, Idaho’s largest utility plans to leave its Valmy coal plant in Nevada three years early and stop all use of coal by 2030.
FOR FIRST TIME IN A DECADE PENNSYLVANIA COULD HAVE A PRO-ENVIRONMENTAL MAJORITY (PA): Polls show that a majority of Pennsylvanians want lawmakers to do something about climate change. With wins in the state House on Tuesday there could finally be full pro-environmental control in the Governor’s mansion and legislature with a clear mandate for action.
OUR STATE AFFILIATE’S TAKE: Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania Executive Director Josh McNeil said, “There’s been an all out assault on our ability to keep the air that Pennsylvanians breathe and the water that we drink clean, and the only way to fix that is to change who’s in charge of the statehouse.”
November 3: Election Day
December 11: Government funding expires
December 31: 2020 expires