In case you were wondering “does working as environmentalists to impact electoral politics matter?”, it does. In five months since his inauguration, Biden has rejoined the Paris agreement and announced ambitious goals for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030 and achieving a net-zero economy by 2050. Biden also signed an executive order elevating environmental justice as a priority across all federal agencies and directed them to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Just recently, the sponsor of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline ended the project after Biden canceled the permit on the first day he took office. While there is much to do, this is a huge start after four years of Trump and climate denialism.
Environmentalists well understood the importance of a Biden victory. In anticipation of the 2020 elections, 350 Bay Area Action (350 BAA) partnered with Flip the West now known as Activate America. Over 200 350 BAA volunteers joined phone-banking operations making thousands of calls to tough purple states (AZ, CO, IA, KS, AK, and WY) from June all the way up until election day. In addition, 350 BAA was the first environmental group that reached out to Flip the West and subsequently led the way to form a coalition of environmental organizations, sharing their expertise and organizing abilities with other activists.
Activate America got started on political action in 2017, inspired by the millions of people who attended the Women’s March. As Trumpism took hold and attacked many of the long-standing achievements in the arenas of social justice and climate change, they began organizing in California and flipped seven Republican-held Congressional seats. In 2020, they built a network of tens of thousands of volunteers and over 250 partner organizations, making over 13 million voter contacts. This summer, they are working on a voter registration effort and a range of electoral projects.
350 Bay Area Action is well aware that we all must be ready for a big push for the 2022 Midterms. There is too much climate progress at stake. We can only ensure this important work continues to move forward if we maintain Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. 350 Bay Area Action can once again play an important role. Let’s start by staying abreast of what is happening at the national level and continue to partner with Activate America for the political gains we want and need. We must be prepared to spring into action to influence the mid-terms starting in the summer of 2022. We can do this, we must do this!!!!