To tackle the climate crisis at scale, we need allies and climate champions at every level of government.
2021 gives us a chance to elect climate leaders at the state and local level who can bring about the transformational change we need.
In years without the presidential race, elections often get written off – but here’s what’s at stake for climate this year alone:
- In Virginia, state legislators are very close to breaking the grip of Dominion Energy, a major dirty utility that is fighting the Green New Deal, and trying to build more fracked-gas pipelines
- In the wake of the Texas utility disaster, progressives are standing up to the negligence of their state leaders and demanding a more secure, reliable and clean energy grid
- And in cities across the country, municipal candidates are proposing bold climate plans that center marginalized communities and help us recover from the pandemic
Through research and consultation with progressive climate partners across the country, Lead Locally and Data for Progress have put together a diverse slate of city and state level candidates who are leading the path towards a thriving clean energy economy. Building on the progressive grassroots energy that made 2020 the largest voter turnout year in a century, these candidates are facing down the fossil fuel industry and corrupt utility companies. They need our backing if they’re going to win – will you help local climate activists across the country in their fight to bring climate justice to their communities by donating today?
When we launched a slate last fall, we had amazing support, and raised nearly $5000-10,000 per candidate on the slate! That kind of money can make-or-break a local election, and we want to raise it again for these candidates — if everyone pitches in what they can, we will be well on our way and collectively we can provide huge support to these grassroots leaders.
Thank you for your support and make sure to check out this amazing slate of climate leaders below:
Texas – Texas has some of the largest publicly managed utilities in the country, and after this year’s devastating outages, candidates are running to push them to be cleaner and more secure. Meanwhile the oil industry wants to keep fracking, putting public health and the climate at risk. We’re excited to support Texan leaders who are tackling the climate crisis head on:
San Antonio City Council – The city manages CPS Energy, the largest public utility in the country and both Castillo and Rodriguez are running to hold CPS accountable and speed the transition to clean energy:
- Jalen McKee Rodriguez for District 2 – A teacher and former city council aide, Rodriguez is challenging his former boss in a bid to bring progressive energy and better representation to San Antonio CityCouncil as a young, gay, Black man. Rodriguez is running with plans to tackle gentrification, retire a major polluting coal plant, and support Black and brown small businesses.
- Teri Castillo for District 5 – Local organizer and historian, Castillo is running to hold the city’s utility accountable, and has written a “Green New Deal for Housing” to address affordable housing needs in San Antonio.
Diana Saleh for Arlington City Council District 3
Saleh is running in Arlington, TX where fracking has created major pollution issues for the community. She is supported by Sunrise Movement-Tarrant County and Our Revolution North Texas. Her family’s history as refugees from Palestine informs her work demanding diversity and equity in government.
Hosanna Yemiru for Dallas City Council District 11
Yemiru is running with the backing of local climate groups like Sunrise Dallas on a platform to advance citywide Green New Deal policies like decarbonizing and expanding public transportation system, updating green building codes, and ending racist environmental practices like concentrating heavy industry zoning in low-income communities of color.
Virginia State Assembly – Organizers in Virginia have waged a long battle to break the grip of their energy utility, Dominion, but it is still the largest political contributor in VA politics. After a major victory in getting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline cancelled, activists and their champions are looking to rein in Dominion’s influence, cancel the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and enact a VA Green New Deal. We’re supporting three progressive candidates in the upcoming primaries, all of whom have taken the VA Justice Dems’ pledge to reject utility money and support a VA Green New Deal:
- Jennifer Adeli for 34 – A local Democratic party activist, Adeli helped flip VA blue and is now primarying State Delegate Kathleen Murphy in the DC suburbs with plans to back the state’s climate movement and teacher unions fighting for universal Pre-K and higher pay.
- Richard Walker for 71 – A community activist for decades, he’s been a leader in the fight to kill the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, enact anti-distrimation hiring policies for the formerly incarcerated, and provide state solar jobs for young people. He’s also helped thousands of formerly incarcerated Virginians like himself find employment. He’s primarying Democrat Jeff Bourne and, if elected, would be a leading voice for racial and environmental justice in the Assembly.
- Ibraheem Samirah for 86 – Since winning his seat in 2019, local dentist and youth activist Samirah has been a champion of the VA Green New Deal and ending the state’s anti-union Right to Work law. A relative newcomer, he’s facing a more conservative primary challenger and needs our support.
Steve Singer for Allegheny County Council District 9 – Allegheny County (home of Pittsburgh) has some of the worst air quality in the country, exacerbated by the county government allowing fracking in public parks. Singer, a public school teacher who led a successful effort to convince the county not to enforce the state’s discriminatory voter ID laws , and wants to replace fracking with green, union jobs.
Toshiko Hasegawa for Seattle Port Position 4 – As one of the biggest polluters in Washington State, Hasegawa is running to enact a “Blue New Deal” to clean up the Seattle Port and invest in clean energy opportunities like windmill manufacturing. As executive director of WA’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs and a fourth-generation Japanese-American from Beacon Hill, she is also running to ensure equity at the port by increasing funds for women and minority owned businesses.
India Walton for Mayor of Buffalo, NY – A local racial justice activist, nurse, and SEIU union rep, Walton is well known in Buffalo for her advocacy for working families and the progressive movement. She is running with the backing of the Working Families Party to enact Buffalo’s first climate plan which will help move the city’s fleet to electric cars, set up an office of sustainability, and change zoning to ensure climate-safe communities.
Progress for Peekskill (NY) – Activists in Peekskill have come together around an environmental platform to ensure the city move towards clean energy as it grows and to close one of the country’s dirtier waste incinerators, the “Wheelabrator”, which has contributed to rising asthma rates and health conditions in neighboring working class communities and communities of color. The group has endorsed 4 candidates who’ve signed on to this platform in a bid to build a climate majority on Council: Conor Greene for Mayor, and Vanessa Agudelo, Amy Perlow, and Amy Vele for Council.