Two weeks away from #Election2016, I’ve been thinking a lot about how Hillary Clinton told me to “get a life.” I want to tell you — and her — about my life.
I’m a young woman and a college graduate who has struggled with student debt. I’m from a middle-class family and I work two jobs in a tough job market. I’m really, really concerned about the climate crisis. And, I spent eight long months attending nearly every one of Clinton’s campaign rallies during the New Hampshire primary. With the support of a dedicated team, I organized over a hundred young people to “ambush” (her campaign’s words — I call it “democracy”) Hillary with questions about climate change. We held signs, shook her hand, and pressed her on climate justice at every possible point — urging Clinton to oppose the Keystone pipeline and halt fossil fuel extraction on public lands as president.
I didn’t spend eight months following Clinton on the campaign trail for nothing. I spent countless hours training volunteers, drilling questions and driving around New Hampshire because people all over the world need our next President to lead on climate. Me, my family, and my community. Native folks facing police brutality while fighting peacefully the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would emit fossil fuels we can’t afford to burn and contaminate drinking water and sacred sites. 1.4 million people in Haiti facing a hunger crisis caused by Hurricane Matthew. Folks everywhere threatened by sea level rise, fossil fuel extraction and climatic instability.
These stakes are way too high to have a Trump presidency. It’s no secret that Clinton isn’t the climate champion we need. The 350 Action New Hampshire crew and I pushed Hillary to “promise never to take any fossil fuels out of the earth ever again” and we haven’t won that particular fight — yet. But I think we will. That’s why I am casting my vote strategically for Hillary on November 8th. The climate movement is helping to defeat Trump this November, and we’re going to keep building grassroots power to defend our lives in the face of the largest existential threat to humanity.
We don’t need to “get a life.” We are the ones fighting for life to continue on this planet.
See you at the polls on November 8th. I’m with her for now.
p.s. Help us bury Trump for good. Sign up to host a texting party to millennials in swing states: 350action.org/november1.
Elaine Colligan is 350 Action’s statewide organizer in Virginia.