Dear Sierra Club California Members and Friends,
If you have never volunteered in a political campaign in California, now is the time to do something new. If you have volunteered in the past, brush off your precinct-walking shoes and do so again without delay.
Trust me: You’ll have fun. And California’s environment needs you. It seriously needs you to put some elbow grease into this election year.
Some of our best environmental legislators are under attack this year. The combination of new districts and a more aggressive push by the worst resistors to environmental progress has created big hurdles for the good people seeking office. These resistors include oil companies (Chevron has been especially creative in spreading its campaign funds this year) and billionaires’ heirs, including those who make big bucks investing in coal and oil.
The special interests have hurled millions of dollars into independently funded ads designed to confuse or outright lie to voters. They have spent to punish good incumbents for their pro-environmental votes. One farm trade association recently poured new money into ads attacking one of our favorite urban legislators. Why? In part because she voted for a bill declaring a human right to clean, safe drinking water–a bill we supported.
Sierra Club has tried to respond to some of the worst attacks in certain key California campaigns by raising “green” money and spending it on ads, campaign donations, and field organizers. But the truth is that we will never be able to match the money the other side can spend.
Our strength is not our money. Our strength is our members. It’s you.
The best way we can all fight together for the environment right now is to give a few hours of time volunteering in a campaign. It’s the boots on the ground that will make a difference this year.
Every good campaign in this state needs volunteers to work the phones, walk precincts, sort leaflets, and do a range of tasks. How much gets done now, will help determine whether the right number and mix of voters vote, either through mail-in ballots today or at the polls on November 6.
The Internet makes it easy to find a place to volunteer. For instance, you can find out where you can go to help defeat Proposition 32 by clicking here. Proposition 32 is the measure that multi-millionaires back to try to make it harder for labor unions to collect and spend money on politics. Sierra Club opposes Proposition 32 because labor-backed candidates are often also environmental candidates and this lopsided political expenditure restriction would make it harder to get good environmentalists into office.
The campaign to pass Proposition 37, the right-to-know initiative that would simply require labels on genetically engineered foods, which we support, also is depending on volunteers. Information on volunteering is available here.
Most of the legislative candidates we endorse can use volunteers. You can find links to their campaign websites, which contain contact info and often have a link for volunteers, on our elections page.
Where does the fun come in? You’ll get to work with other people who are committed to making the world a better place. You’ll likely share some laughs with your new colleagues. You may even make new friendships that will carry on well beyond the campaign.
And all of this will come with the investment of just a few hours.
Thanks in advance for getting out there and volunteering. It will help turn out the good, green votes.
Kathryn Phillips, Director
Sierra Club California is the Sacramento-based legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of the 13 California chapters of the Sierra Club.
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