Our planet and our democracy are linked.
Our very lives depend on who we entrust with decisions on clean energy, public health, and economic and national security. This is especially true for people in low-income communities and communities of color, who are disproportionately impacted by climate change and pollution and live on the front lines of extreme storms, heat and other environmental harms. To confront the toxic legacy of environmental injustice and solve these threats to the health of our communities and our children’s future, we must not only return to the time when the U.S. led internationally on addressing the climate crisis, we must also enact big, sweeping changes to solve the climate crisis and transition to a more just, sustainable future.
Following the disastrous 2016 elections, LCV has focused on a plan to break polluters’ hold on American politics and position the U.S. to take bold action on climate change by 2021.
This past year, we made huge strides on goals to DEFEND bedrock environmental protections from polluter attacks, ADVANCE environmental progress in the states, BUILD a more racially and demographically diverse environmental movement, and ELECT more leaders who will act on climate.
Our work is far from over. In fact, we must recommit to this fight like never before, as the current moment will chart a course with profound implications for our future. Our core strategies are holding leaders accountable, securing strong policies, and winning elections. LCV’s top priorities for progress are to:
Expand Clean Energy for All.
In the absence of federal leadership to tackle the environmental crisis, one of our movement’s priorities is to push state and local leaders to advance policies to boost clean energy and avert the worst impacts of climate change.
In 2018, LCV and our 30+ state affiliates — together, the Conservation Voter Movement (CVM) — launched the Clean Energy For All campaign to transition the United States to 100% clean energy by pushing for policies and investments that reduce air pollution, winning ballot initiatives, and demonstrating grassroots demand for clean energy.
As a result, 2019 has been one of the most impactful periods of climate action in our country’s history, with those state and local commitments translating into significant climate policy and progress.
Momentum built by the Clean Buses for Healthy Niños campaign led state and local officials to commit Volkswagen settlement and other funds to transition polluting diesel school buses to zero-emission, electric models in AZ, CA, MD, NV, and NY. And our movement successfully pushed state legislatures and utilities to make breathtaking clean energy and climate progress across the country, winning major victories in at least a dozen states.
These victories show how low-income communities and communities of color, who are most directly harmed by dirty energy, can win action from state and local governments to invest in fossil fuel-free technologies that clean up the air we breathe.
Build a More Racially and Demographically Diverse Movement and Electorate.
Across programs, LCV is engaging communities of color and young people, who are among the most heavily impacted by pollution and the most concerned about climate change, and who are also historically underrepresented in the electorate.
We remain committed to ensuring that low-income and communities of color are prioritized and activating people across the country to organize to build their political power and protect their rights to clean air and water, healthy neighborhoods, and a safe climate for generations to come. LCV and our state partners also invested in strengthening voting rights and our democracy, which are inextricably tied to the fight to protect our planet.
In 2018, LCV engaged more than 2.1 million members and expanded our grassroots and community organizing infrastructure across the country. Our climate action programs mobilized over 20,000 volunteers in six states, including more people of color, students, and young people (40% of our volunteers are between ages 18-35). Our Chispa program focused on elevating the voices and leadership of Latinx communities in the fight to stop climate change and advance a just and equitable clean energy future, with programs in AZ, CO, MD, and NV. Chispa has had a major impact by growing LCV’s online Latinx membership to 280,000 people, engaging more than 6,000 volunteers, and training hundreds of Promotores—local leaders who organize in their neighborhoods, schools, and churches.
Elect Pro-Environment Leaders.
Strong policies are only possible when individuals who will fight for our Earth are in power, and when those individuals are elected and bolstered.
With a wide open Democratic presidential primary, LCV, in partnership with our state league affiliates, and with our allies in the environmental and progressive communities, has embarked on a campaign to elevate the climate crisis in the primary — Change the Climate 2020. We have elevated climate action as a top tier issue and have ensured that the next president is committed to taking bold and immediate steps starting on day one.
LCV Victory Fund and affiliated entities raised or spent over $80 million to help elect pro-environment leaders in 2018—the largest investment by any single-issue group. We succeeded in electing almost 60 new members of Congress and flipping the U.S. House to pro-environment—our top electoral goal in 2018 and a key benchmark in our strategic plan to establish pro-environment leadership. We held the Senate’s “green firewall” intact and made enormous progress at the state and local levels by electing 11 pro-clean energy governors, and nearly 300 new pro-environment state legislators across the U.S.
None of these actions alone, and none of us alone, will solve the climate crisis, but together we can. Even in the face of dire warnings, it is not too late to change the current trajectory and preserve a livable planet for ourselves and future generations.
Please stand with LCV as we seize opportunities and pursue our shared goals. Together, we will keep the United States moving forward on climate change and protect the one planet we call home.