This election, it’s not enough for climate activists to simply vote: we need to organize. If you haven’t phone banked, texted your friends, talked to your neighbors, or better yet, hit the ground to help get out the vote, then consider this your all-hands-on-deck alarm bell.
These are the hours that count. If people like us limit our engagement in this election to just casting our ballot, there’s a good chance that we’re going to lose this election. And a loss wouldn’t just be a setback for our work for climate justice, it would be catastrophic.
Donald Trump would rip up the Paris climate deal, cancel all funding for clean energy and approve Keystone XL — all on day 1. After that we’d have to deal with 4 years (or more) of relentless drilling, extraction, and burning of fossil fuels, not to mention fighting off new climate disasters.
Since we founded 350.org in 2008, I’ve had the pleasure to get to know many of the people across this country (and around the world) who make up the beating heart of the climate movement.
You’re the college student who balances homework and exams with organizing late night meetings and actions on campus.
You’re the retiree who instead of relaxing after decades of hard work, gets arrested for climate justice much to the surprise of your friends and family.
You’re the mother who between jobs and childcare and a million other obligations, finds time to step away from the day-to-day and fight for a better future for all our children.
You’re someone who has personally seen and felt the impacts of climate change in your life, in your family, in your community and are hard at work doing something about it.
You’re an organizer. You’re a networker. You’re the type of person who gets things done.
This election, we need you. In the final days and hours before November 8, the difference between winning and losing is going to come down to whether or not people like us are getting out the vote or just staying home and leaving it up to someone else.
I’m much more comfortable organizing mass marches, protests, and civil disobedience than working alongside political campaigns. But this election, I’m stretching myself. I’m texting friends, I’m knocking on doors, I’m picking up all the clipboards I can find.
That’s not because I think Clinton is going to fix all of our problems. No, I know her weaknesses. Heck, 350 Action spent the first year and a half of this election revealing many of them by showing up at all her events pushing her to take stronger stances on Keystone XL, drilling, fracking, Exxon and more.
I’m getting out the vote for her so that we can elect someone who we can push. I’m organizing with an eye towards post-election, when we plan to hit the ground running at full tilt. Case in point: on November 15, there will be a massive day of action against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I’m also looking forward to the marches and the protests and the sit-ins, but I want them to be pushing us forward instead of just preventing us from sliding back. I want to protest for something, not just against it.
That’s it. That’s the final pitch. Now it’s your turn. Click here to join our mass texting program or click here for some other immediate ways you can help get out the vote. It’s the most important thing you can do for climate justice right now. Let’s win this election, not for any politician, but for us, for our movement, and for our future.
May Boeve is the Executive Director of 350 Action.