This year young people, including our supporters, turned out to vote – many for the first time – at the highest rate in a quarter century. They, along with millions of women and people of color, were part of a diverse cross-section of the electorate that voted for, among other important issues, a stable climate, clean air and clean water.
It took a lot of hard work, and I’d especially like to thank our supporters for all they did – making thousands of phone calls and texts, tabling, hosting events, marching, meeting with elected officials and more – to not only turn out the vote for our climate, but also to educate others on one of the most pressing issues of our time. Your dedication and hard work paid off on Election Day, but we’ve still got plenty to do to help ensure that we leave a better world for future generations.
On college campuses, in coffee shops, on sidewalks and in city halls, our activists are spreading the word about climate change, fighting for environmental justice, and advocating for local and nationwide clean energy solutions. We turned up the heat on Scott Pruitt, Trump’s first Environmental Protection Agency administrator who resigned due in large part to public outcry around his ethics scandals and toxic agenda. Our supporters testified at public hearings, joining millions of Americans who have spoken out against the Trump administration’s reckless proposals to roll back climate and public health safeguards like the Clean Power Plan, Clean Car standards and protections against oil and gas pollution. We met with members of Congress, state lawmakers, local business leaders and worked with diverse partners like Hip Hop Caucus and Mi Familia Vota to encourage young people to join the movement for climate action by voting and staying civically engaged.
Now, with the election behind us, it’s time to continue building our broad and diverse movement for action, and to let our leaders know that we will hold them accountable for developing solutions that protect our communities from pollution and the impacts of climate change.
You may have read about grim future painted by the National Climate Assessment and International Panel on Climate Change report. The outlook may seem dire, but there also are so many reasons why I’m hopeful for the future. From the incredible energy behind the Green New Deal, to private sector leadership, to bold local, state and international action, we are seeing a global movement towards a clean energy future – even as the Trump administration tries to move us in the wrong direction. And it’s the young people who are keeping up the pressure, demanding leaders work together to protect our planet.
The 116th Congress will be the most diverse in history – with the most women and people of color ever in a freshman class. Their election means new ideas and solutions from leaders who campaigned on clean energy, climate action and a more just future for all.
Our elected representatives have the opportunity – and responsibility – to work together to forge bold, commonsense and bipartisan solutions that will protect our communities regardless of skin color, zip code and political affiliation – because climate change affects us all.
We will continue to raise the voices of young people, including our 200,000 supporters from across the country, to demand our elected leaders support a strong and fully funded Environmental Protection Agency and to take bold action, locally and nationally, on climate change.
I’m excited for what 2019 will bring for climate action, and hope that you will join us.
Happy holidays, and we’ll see you in the new year,