CLCV STATEMENT: “ELECTION FAILURE IS NOT LOSING RACES, BUT GIVING UP ON MAKING LASTING CHANGE"

Press Release
December 8, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 8, 2020

CONTACT: 510.550.8173 [email protected]

CLCV STATEMENT: “ELECTION FAILURE IS NOT LOSING RACES, BUT GIVING UP ON MAKING LASTING CHANGE”

Oakland, CA - The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) today released a statement responding to US Congressional race concessions from Representatives Harley Rouda, Gil Cisneros, TJ Cox, and California Assemblymember Christy Smith.

Statement from Mary Creasman, CEO, California League of Conservation Voters:

“As we take a breath at the close of the national election, it’s worthwhile to take a look at down ballot races here in California. While some promising environmental advocates have just been elected or reelected, four of California’s best and brightest first-term legislators lost reelection (or election to a higher office) this cycle. Representative Harley Rouda and Gil Cisneros from Orange County, Representative TJ Cox from the Central Valley, and Assemblymember Christy Smith of the Santa Clarita Valley all lost their races for Congress.

Representative Rouda, Cox, and Cisneros have helped lead the charge to protect public lands, address climate change, ensure clean and safe drinking water, and end offshore oil drilling. Reps. Rouda, Cox, and Cisneros were instrumental in passing the Great American Outdoors Act which fully and permanently funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This was a fight that took a decade to win, and it will have lasting impacts for generations. California’s new congressional leadership played a powerful role in ensuring investment in outdoor spaces and natural resources continues in perpetuity.

Assemblymember Christy Smith has also been a tireless advocate for environmental regulations to protect public health. She worked hard to make sure all Californians have access to clean water and air, and she prioritized clean renewable energy production as a true investment in our future. Assemblymember Smith showed time and time again that she put the needs of her constituents over that of corporations. She would have been an asset to have in Congress.

Every vote matters, and the electoral losses of these champions are a reminder of that. Each of these seats were close races in districts that progressive candidates won in 2018. While we lost ground this year that we’d previously gained, we know what’s possible in these seats and districts. We know that these regions care deeply about the environment. It’s time to start planning for a turnaround in 2022. Grassroots organizing and knocking on doors in these districts was key to winning previous elections, and our current global pandemic prohibited the massive get-out-the-vote effort that helped us win in 2018.

Assemblymember Smith, and Reps. Rouda, Cox, and Cisneros are all examples of the difference strong elected leaders can make, even in a small amount of time. I’m inspired by their actions as legislators. I know we will see more of Rouda, Cox, Smith, and Cisneros in the future, and I look forward to that. The work to elect climate justice champions in these districts in 2022 starts now. ”

We believe that radical change is necessary and only by transforming our political system will we create the opportunity to take bold action on climate change. We elect and cultivate environmental champions, turn election victories into policy wins, hold our lawmakers accountable, and build political power for change. We inspire hope and action and fight for equity and justice for all Californians. We are in the business of changing what’s possible. Join us at www.ecovote.org and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. See more press releases.

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