Fighting the SCOTUS Ruling – Fund Local Climate Candidates this Fall
2022 has been a historic year for climate.
With Congress passing climate action for the first time ever, we’ll need leaders in local office who can help ensure we close the gap on emissions reductions the country will still need to hit the UN’s climate goals.
As the conservative majority of the Supreme Court guts our basic rights like abortion access as well as the federal government’s ability to regulate carbon emissions, we MUST turn to local elections (cities/states/utilities) to move off fossil fuels.
We need bold state and city climate progressives in office all across the country – and we’ve pulled together a slate of some of the most important races for climate wins down ballot this November.
2022 has been a historic year for climate. With Congress passing climate action for the first time ever, the US is on track to reduce emissions 40% from 1990 levels by the end of the decade – nearing the UN’s goals of 50%.
Like most anything passed in this country – the pressure, scope, and urgency of that bill grew upwards from the demands of local climate movements and the leaders at every level they elected. The Inflation Reduction Act is a victory – but we know it is not enough, and that is exactly why we must keep working to strengthen our climate leadership in cities and states across the country.
We need bold state and city climate progressives in office all across the country – and we’ve pulled together a slate of some of the most important races for climate wins down ballot this November. Please donate today!
These candidates span the country and have the potential to massively change how quickly we transition to clean energy, build public transit, end environmental injustice in frontline communities, and much much more. Not only that, but it’s integral we elect progressives who will protect hard fought rights like access to abortion in a post-Roe world, marriage equality, and much more.
Corpus Christi: The Port of Corpus Christi has become the number one exporter of crude oil, and there are a slew of new petrochemical projects proposed in the region, but a slate of candidates are running for city council with a vision to put people and planet before polluters profits. We’re proud to support the following in their bids for City Council:
- Dr. Nancy Vera – the president of the AFT teachers union,
- Dr. Jim Klein – Chair of the Coastal Bend Sierra Club Chapter,
- Sylvia Campos – a longtime local organizer, and
- Armon Alex – a marine biologist and youth leader.
Harris County: home to Houston, and a sprawling oil and petrochemical industry, County Judge Lina Hidalgo and County Commissioner Adrian Garcia have worked to hold the industry accountable, and continue to prioritize climate action. We need to re-elect this progressive leadership to make sure Harris County continues to drive forward.
In the Texas state legislature, Erin Zwiener has been a constant climate champion in a state where activists face uphill battles to block the growth of the fossil fuel industry and enact a plan to transition to renewables. Her office founded the legislature’s first climate caucus, which has been integral in increasing penalties for corporations that violate air, drilling, and environmental codes.
Minnesota’s State Legislature has been on the brink of passing a historic climate justice bill for years that would transition it to clean energy & protect frontline communities. We’re supporting the following 8 candidates who can build that majority during the general:
- Aleta Borrud for Senate District 24 – A retired doctor who lost by less than 1% last election against a Republican climate science denier and is running for a rematch,
- Aric Putnam for Senate District 14 – An incumbent champ in a swing district whose always prioritized climate action,
- Kari Rehrauer for Senate District 35 – A community organizer and 20-year long science teacher,
- Lindsey Port for Senate District 55 – One of the state’s progressive incumbent leaders who needs defending,
- Liz Boldon for Senate District 25 – An incumbent, nurse, and teacher whose fought hard for state climate action in the State House and is making a bid for the State Senate,
- Jackie Craig for Senate District 57 – A local education advocate and organizer,
- Josiah Hill for House District 33B – A teacher and union president,
- Heather Gustafson for Senate District 36 – A high school history teacher high school history teacher who will work to protect and restore water, farmland, and resources while strengthening MN’s economy through green jobs.
- Jess Hanson for House District 55A – A progressive incumbent whose championed a “politics of care” in office, and
- Jerry Newton for House District 35B – A long term public servant, veteran, and family grocery owner whose helped champion bills for labor, renewable energy, and schools.
Arkansas, Washington County – Josh Moody is running a tough race to lead one of the state’s largest counties as Washington County Judge (in Arkansas a County Judge is not judicial, it’s the president of the County Commission). He wants to ensure the county takes climate action by investing in greener vehicles to replace its fleet, determining how infrastructure funds can be used to reduce the effects of severe weather events like flooding, and cutting the use of single-use plastics in all county offices by 90%.
Corporation Commission: Sandra Kennedy and Lauren Kuby are running for the AZ Corporation Commission, the body that regulates Arizona’s utilities and has been corrupted and captured by Arizona’s largest and dirtiest utility. Sandra Kennedy is running for reelection, and Lauren Kuby is hoping to step onto the commission to fight for consumers and prioritize clean energy for Arizona. APS, the state’s biggest utility, has a history of spending millions to defeat clean energy policy, so it’s imperative we back these reformers to take power.
The Arizona state legislature, long held by Republicans, needs new climate champs that can lead the charge to block regressive bills preventing the state from moving to green energy & passing water conservation measures. We’re supporting the following candidates who can build that majority in the general:
- Jeanne Casteen for Senate Legislative District 2 – A public school teacher fighting alongside the state’s teacher unions,
- Laura Terech for Senate Legislative District 4 – An elementary school teacher inspired to run when her building was so underfunded the ceiling of her classroom caved in during class, and
- Christine Marsh for Senate Legislative District 4 – A progressive incumbent and former teacher named AZ’s Teacher of the Year.
The California state legislature has long led the country as a state willing to pass bold policy for climate justice, environmental equity, and progressive reform more broadly. Large, progressive states like CA have become all the more important to close the gap in emissions reductions we’ll need to hit the nation’s climate goals and to do that, we’ll need a strong progressive climate majority with leaders who are willing to fight for tough wins. That’s why we’re supporting the following 4 candidates as they head to the general this fall:
- Aisha Wahab for Senate District 10 – a Hayward City Councilmember who made national headlines as the first elected Afghan-American woman in the country,
- Tina McKinnor for Assembly District 62 – A former community organizer with LA Voice who just won her special election this spring and faces a rematch,
- Sara Aminzadeh for Assembly District 12 – One of California Coastal Commissioners whose received national recognition for her work as a climate lawyer and running specifically to ensure CA is the country’s leader in climate justice, and
- Caroline Menjivar for Assembly District 20 – A Marine Corps member, EMT, and community organizer for LA’s LGBTQ community.
Benicia: Kari Birdseye, a climate advocate at the Natural Resource Defense Council, is running for City Council in a town that Valero continues to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain a majority that will let their refinery continue to pollute. Birdseye will help get the city closer to a progressive majority that can regulate the refinery.
AC Transit District At-Large: Alfred Twu is an architect and planning commissioner whose long been an advocate for increased public transit that is powered by renewable energy across the Bay Area. They’re running to support bus workers while fighting to make the Bay’s bus system more expansive, easier to ride, and greener!
Buena Park: José Trinidad Castañeda is running for City Council to be the first Latino, Native-American, and LGBTQ council member in Buena Park history. As a community organizer and Parks and Recreation Commissioner, he’s already organized to win several fights in the county that established a new public agency to increase clean energy and boost local jobs, helped prevent waste from entering the ocean, and organized the local March for Science and People’s Climate Marches. His climate plan for housing, air regulation, and green space will help Buena Park tackle its status as the California city with the least amount of park space per resident and some of the worst air quality.
Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board: Derek Cressman has a long history of advocating for reform in California – whether that’s helping win a state constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, making campaign finance more transparent, or modernizing the voter registration system. A 22-year resident of Sacramento, he’s running to regulate the city’s utility with a bold and detailed plan to maintain reliability and affordability while eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by expediting its 2030 Zero Carbon plan.
Richmond: Eduardo Martinez is running to be the mayor of a city that houses a major Chevron refinery. Eduardo is running as part of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, and if he wins, the alliance will be able to use both the mayor’s office and the Richmond City Council to start holding Chevron accountable and pursuing just transition solutions.
Imperial Beach: Paloma Aguirre is running for mayor of Imperial Beach to continue her work fighting for environmental justice and protecting the beaches of southern California. Imperial Beach is part of the Port of San Diego, which has lots of industrial and trucking pollution, and Paloma will support the effort to protect frontline communities. She also was recently appointed as an alternative to the California Coastal Commission where she hopes to continue to advocate to protect the coast for the public.
Portland, Oregon: Jo-Ann Hardesty, an incumbent environmental justice champion, is up for re-election, but she’s being challenged by conservative candidates backed by the city’s police union and business chamber. Jo-Ann was formerly the chair of the Portland NAACP and has been instrumental in creating the Portland Clean Energy Fund, an innovative effort to fund clean energy and create jobs in environmental justice communities.
Johnson County, Kansas: As Mayor of Roeland Park and founder of Climate Action Kansas City, Mike Kelly helped start a regional collaboration of 100+ local elected officials that published the first metro-wide regional climate action plan. He’s running to be Chairman of the state’s largest and fastest growing county with climate as a priority and aims to pass new renewable energy standards, zoning guidelines and energy efficiency codes that promote new utility scale renewable energy.
New Mexico: In 2018, Stephanie Garcia Richards was the first Latina ever elected to New Mexico’s State Land Commission, a powerful body that oversees public lands, oil royalties, and the state’s education budget. Since getting elected, she’s been working to diversify the state’s revenue and decrease its reliance on oil, which she’s accomplished through measures like a moratorium on drilling in Chaco Canyon. In 2018, Chevron spent a whopping $2 million to try to defeat her, so we need to back her up so she can continue to invest in schools and clean energy.
Pennsylvania State Legislature: Pennsylvania is at the heart of the campaign to end fracking, and there are strong environmental justice leaders running in recently redrawn districts that could position Democrats to win a majority in the state house. We are backing the following candidates who can help build that majority in the general election:
- Arvind Venkat for House District 35 – an ER whose organized for local hospitals to address the opioid crisis, and provide better mental health services,
- Mandy Steele for House District 33 – A Fox Chapel Borough Councilmember who founded an award winning non profit that restores natural wetlands to protect residents from the effects of increased rainfall. She’s won fights in her town for more solar, the first ban in the state on a toxic chemical, and led 21 other PA towns to take formal action on toxic chemical bans,
- Mark Moffa for House District 142 – A lifelong public servant and Penndel Borough Councilmember,
- Paul Friel for House District 26 – A local business owner of an environmental testing firm and advocate for state climate legislation,
- Mark Pinsley for Senate District 16 – Lehigh County’s Controller whose helped cover county expenses by ensuring the wealthiest industries pay their fair share in taxes,
- Katie Muth for Senate District 44 – One of the state’s foremost leaders for energy transition, the fight to protect public lands from fracking, and environmental justice.
Providence, RI is facing plans to expand fossil fuel infrastructure at its port and April Brown, interim Director of the city’s Racial & Environmental Justice Committee, is running to build a progressive majority that can protect frontline communities from port pollution & fully move the city to renewables.
Virginia: Jennifer Carrol Foy, a former public defender and state house delegate, has been a consistent for climate action in Virginia as an elected representative and in her run for the Governor’s office. She co-introduced the Virginia Clean Economy Act which sought to transition the state fully to renewable energy and has consistently criticized the corrupt state utility Dominion, pledging to never take its campaign donations. She’s running this coming spring to win back a seat in the Assembly!
Washington: One of the state’s toughest fighters for climate action, it’s integral we help protect Alex Ramel’s seat in House District 40 against Big Oil-funded attacks and candidates. Ramel helped develop the state’s ambitious 2021 energy strategy and championed the passage of policies that required the adoption of electric heating, forced gas utilities to quit fossil fuels, and helped cut into the state’s building emissions which nationally make up 13% of U.S. emissions. He also works for the environmental advocacy organization Stand.earth helping local governments find ways to say no to fossil fuel expansion. In response, the oil industry has funneled hundreds of thousands to his opponent and attack ads to block further regulation.
Maryland: Wicomico County has led in welcoming offshore wind to its shores as similar projects begin to be build across the Eastern seaboard. Megan Outten is running for Wicomico County Council At Large to continue her advocacy for renewable energy like offshore wind and the local environment in a town her family has called home for generations. Her vote will add critical support to continued expansion of offshore wind terminals that support the whole region’s transition to green energy.
Missouri: Progressives in St Louis have been celebrating major victories after electing Mayor Tishaura Jones and House Representative in Cori Bush in the last cycles. St Louis alderman Dr. Megan Ellyia-Green is running for a promotion to be President of the St Louis City Board of Aldermen with both their backing as well as local progressive groups like the DSA, Sierra Club, Working Families Party, and several unions. She hopes to build a progressive bloc that can work with the Mayor on fighting issues of environmental racism – like air pollution, high energy costs, and contaminated housing primarily affecting black families – and pass new green energy building standards.