Wins and losses, and what's next for California

 
Nov 5, 2014
By Sarah Rose

The results are in: Strong environmental candidates won in many tough races throughout California, and voters backed Prop 1 to protect our water supplies and our environment. By the numbers:

  • Statewide Offices: 8 CLCV-endorsed winners (a sweep)!
  • State Senate: 9 CLCV-endorsed winners!
  • California Assembly: 33 CLCV-endorsed winners!
  • U.S. Congress: 37 CLCV-endorsed winners!
  • Prop. 1 (endorsed by CLCV) passed with 67.2% of the vote!

    (Results for all of CLCV’s endorsed candidates can be found at http://www.ecovote.org/page/endorsements)

We won the vast majority of our races thanks to thousands of CLCV members and activists working together to educate our fellow citizens and turn out the environmental vote on Election Day. All of the phone calls, street canvassing, donations – and yes, the emails too – everything we’ve been doing came together to achieve strong environmental outcomes in California. And though we weren’t successful everywhere, we’re proud so many excellent candidates we supported won their races.

But not every state can be California, and the federal election results paint a murky picture for our future.

Anti-environment candidates helped Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate and expand their majority in the House of Representatives. When the new Congress convenes in January, bedrock environmental protections will be in jeopardy, and opportunities for real progress on the issues that matter to us will face tough odds.

Here at CLCV, we fight for an environmental majority – not for Democratic or Republican victories – because we’re strictly, earnestly, and very proudly nonpartisan. But any casual observer can tell you that the new majority in the Senate includes climate change deniers, and their campaigns were bankrolled by Big Oil and Coal.

The movement to protect our environment and address climate change can’t wait out another Congress.

Californians can’t wait out another Congress while our rivers run dry, our crops crumble into dust, and our forests rage with wildfires. Families like yours and mine can’t wait while our groundwater and the safety of our communities are threatened by fracking. Our precious wildlife can’t adapt fast enough to their vanishing habitats, and they certainly can’t wait around for Washington to get serious.

But you know something? We’re Californians, and we don’t need Washington to solve our problems. It was our California State Legislature that passed the first-ever vehicle emission standards and the pioneering law to address climate change. And it wasn’t Congress that passed the bans on shark fin sales and lead ammunition in hunting in our state – those wildlife protections were passed by California state lawmakers, too.

In fact, during just the past year, the California Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed bills to protect groundwater supplies, ban single-use plastic bags, put one million electric vehicles on the roads, and reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products.

Of course, we couldn’t do it without our thousands upon thousands of grassroots CLCV members from every corner of the state. We thank our members, who write, call, and visit their legislators to make sure they knowwhat’s really important to California families.

A safe place for our kids to play. Clean air to breathe and water to drink. Hope for the future, and a chance to leave this world as beautiful when we go as when we came.

We’re Californians, and we’ve got work to do.

Sincerely,

Sarah Rose
Chief Executive Officer
California League of Conservation Voters

P.S. Unlike most political organizations, we did not send even a single fundraising email blast in the month leading up to Election Day. This allowed us to focus our emails on actual issues and candidates, but now that the election is over we have lots of ground to make up. Can you pitch in today to help us hit the ground running? Obviously, we’ve got our work out for us with this new political landscape – your support makes everything we do possible.

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