Campaign for Communities
Earth Day Network (EDN) and our partners including the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) are working together under the banner of “Campaign for Communities,” on a three-year project to educate and develop committed long-term climate voters in 10 to 20 communities.
C4C will focus on communities that have diverse populations, may have key local, state or national elections coming up over the three years and communities that are also experiencing or have experienced climate change related events or dirty energy related issues.
In each community, our goal is to educate and activate a statistically significant group of climate voters, and train and activate a set of community leaders who will become well-known and outspoken in their communities about climate change. The community leaders will:
- participate in managing and encouraging climate voters in their areas;
- activate these voters to create pressure on current elected officials on a year-round basis;
- advocate for climate related legislative and policy improvements, and
- continually train additional community leaders on climate.
Our goal is to create a permanent and active climate voter constituency of 300,000 people in key areas; voters who expect local, state, and national elected officials to advance and vote for climate-solving legislation and policy, and who will themselves become leaders on these issues at the local, state, and national level. After the three-year term of the project, C4C’s goal is to leave a permanent infrastructure that will continue to manage and promote civic activism around climate change for many years to come
Developing climate voters is essential to build national support for climate policy and national leadership on climate issues. The three-year time frame provides enough time to build permanent infrastructure and leadership skills on this issue in the communities.
Key to the success of this program is the knowledge, supported by many national studies, that issues are often a major factor in turnout and that voters base their political positions primarily on issues linked to their core values. The values associated with climate change include public health, national security, disaster prevention, economic opportunity, environmental protection and protecting children and families. For each demographic group, the Coalition will conduct a series of focus groups to identify the core values and will then highlight these issues.
The C4C partnership is in its tenth year of collaboration, having focused on voter education, registration and turnout through multiple consecutive election cycles as a way to build a more diverse, educated and active environmental community. In addition to our voter work, C4C conducts collaborative and individual on the ground environmental programs that include green energy and other public policy initiatives; large community educational Earth Day outreach programs; greening schools and community center projects; and combined social media and traditional media outreach work.
Together we have registered hundreds of thousands of voters and have educated what is now a small but growing and committed base of voters who consistently and reliably vote green. Under this program, we can and will do much more.