Way to Go, California! Prop 39 Passes.

In a sign that Americans understand the connection between clean energy and new jobs and are ready to take on big business in order to secure a clean energy future, Californians rallied to easily pass Prop 39 last night.

The initiative could bring in $1 billion dollars – half of which would go toward energy-efficiency and clean–energy projects at public buildings and schools – by closing a tax loophole for out-of-state corporations.

Corporate heavyweights such as Philip Morris, Kimberly-Clark, General Motors, Chrysler, International Paper and Proctor & Gamble were poised to oppose the measure. A legislative effort to close the loophole failed on the final day of the California legislative session.

To rally grassroots support for the measure, Earth Day Network and its partner the Latino Voters League joined the Yes on 39 coalition and launched a voter education and outreach campaign, particularly targeting college students and Latino voters. The campaign combined traditional voter outreach by phone and in person contact, with social media activities.

The proposition was supported by a rare bipartisan coalition of more than 325 groups representing business, environmental, labor, education, women, and minority interests.
The cooperation and partnerships created in support of Prop 39 offer a glimpse of the way forward on the national clean energy agenda after an extraordinarily partisan and divided national election.

With close to 80% of the precincts reporting in, the proposition passed 59.7% to 40.3% out of almost seven and a half million votes cast on the issue. The initiative was authored and primarily funded by environmental activist and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. Steyer, who has become a tireless advocate for the green economy, was the keynote speaker at EDN’s Climate Leadership Gala last spring.