Did you know that, apparently, environmentalists don’t vote? According to the Environmental Voter Project, although tens of millions of Americans list strong environmental policies as a priority in polls, when it comes to actual voters, environmental issues get ranked near the bottom. The problem? The people who say the environment matters to them aren’t actually voting.
Of the 20 million Americans who report that climate and environmental issues are among their top priorities, almost half did not vote in the 2012 presidential campaign. In addition, more than 75% failed to vote in any mid-term elections.
It’s time to change that. The November 2018 elections are going to be momentous for many reasons. Afterwards, when the pundits dissect the reasons why this or that candidate won or lost, let’s make sure they unanimously conclude that environmental concerns were a top priority for voters.
What you can do:
- People listen to their friends. When you vote, share this with your network
- Volunteer with groups like the League of Women Voters who register people to vote
- Research all the candidates on your ballot to see what their records and platforms are on environmental issues. Open space, climate change, protecting our air and water, sustainability — all these issues are important. Today’s City Council candidate may be running for state or federal office in a few years. It matters who we elect in local elections.
- Research ballot measures as they also often have environmental consequences. San Jose’s Measure T, though it primarily funds hard infrastructure such as road repairs and emergency response facilities, will also provide $50 million for land conservation for flood protection in Coyote Valley.
- This goes without saying, but election day this year is November 6. Get out and vote!