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Peoples Climate Movement Launches First Ever Voter Education Campaign

Organizer of largest ever US climate march mobilizes huge base for 2018 midterms, including support of nation’s first ever carbon fee in Washington State.

NEW YORK — The Peoples Climate Movement (PCM) is, for the first time, turning its large base of supporters towards the election in a voter education campaign that will pull hundreds of volunteers from around the country into efforts to pass historic climate legislation in Washington and educate voters in Illinois and Michigan. This campaign will be the first time voters will be directly targeted with PCM’s core message about the interconnectedness of climate change with economic, social, and racial justice.  

“The power to achieve bold climate action that creates millions of family-sustaining jobs and protects our most vulnerable communities ultimately relies on an engaged and informed electorate,” said PCM National Director Paul Getsos. “Our movement has shown it can move the conversation on climate, jobs and justice through mass mobilization. Now we’re going to build the systems we need to put these issues front and center for voters.”

The Peoples Climate Movement has been organizing for four years, ever since the historic convergence of diverse national environmental and social justice organizations that orchestrated the massive Peoples Climate March that took place in New York City in September 2014. Since then, the coalition has hit the streets across the country with hundreds of thousands of climate-minded folks – including first-timers and veteran activists, environmental and civil rights leaders, faith groups and unions.  They have organized critical and successful climate mobilizations in 2015, 2017, and this fall during the Global Climate Action Summit.

In turning to electoral work for the first time, PCM is building and testing systems now that will be deployed at scale in 2020. This year’s non-partisan voter education program will draw volunteers from across the country into a national phone banking program that will reach thousands of voters in Washington state in support of Initiative 1631. This groundbreaking ballot measure represents one of the most ambitious pieces of climate legislation in U.S. history.

“Initiative 1631 is a perfect example of what is possible when climate activists, frontline communities, and labor work together to envision a just transition to a clean energy future,” Getsos said. “By organizing our national base to get out the vote in Washington, we’re showing how people power can push back against the CEOs of oil and gas industries who are destroying our climate.”

PCM is also working with its member and partner organizations to support voter education canvassing on climate, jobs and justice in key swing states such as Illinois and Minnesota. Additional investments in targeted digital advertising will also test the power of the PCM’s core message on a bold agenda for climate, jobs and justice.

For questions on PCM and its voter education campaign, to interview National Director Paul Getsos, or to be connected with some of the volunteers working on the campaign, please contact Jonathan Lipman at jonathan.lipman@peoplesclimate.org.