Why do we need these 2020 election resources? Well, let’s start with why I need them: my East Coast parents are now used to checking the AQI near me. After three rounds of California fires near me this year, they are almost breathless with worry. I’d imagine that this sort of fear and attention is shared by lots of parents out there. After all, the climate crisis is accelerating faster than anticipated and while many once thought of climate change as a problem for a future generation, many are starting to notice that with the fires, the storms, the floods, and the heat… that these problems are going to be part of our lives today.
The choices we make right now (not a decade from now) will have immediate consequences for us (not just for our children, but for our own foreseeable future). The wildfires that are singeing our own backyard show us that these decisions are not part of a theoretical time ahead but a very real and pressing present. Which is why the systems that we influence and vote in at the federal, state, and local level will have a big impact on what happens to everyone who has to live in this new world. We have a small, collapsing window to influence those leaders. The next two to four years are our tipping point.
That’s why this is the election where your vote will decide our future. Whichever candidate or party you support, you need show up on election day and think about climate change and what that means for wildfires near your home, for the droughts in our state, for viticulture, for your retirement and the world our children will inherit. VOTE with that in mind!
Knowing what your candidates think is not always easy, however, and we wanted to share a few 2020 election resources with you:
Votersedge: Voter’s Edge California (VEC) is a joint project of MapLight and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (LWVCEF).* Voter’s Edge California is a comprehensive, nonpartisan online guide to elections covering federal, state, and local races in the state of California. This means that you can look up every person and proposition on your ballot and not only read the standard arguments for and against them, but you can see who has given money to which candidates or initiatives, who endorses them, and find out how they compare.
Candidate Forums. The League of Women Voters in Napa is hosting an excellent series of candidate forums. Join them live to ask your own questions or view recordings for some of the candidates that you’ve missed. This will give you a more persona and nuanced understanding of some of the local issues out there.
Vote Forward. Maybe it’s not just about your vote, but encouraging others to vote. Vote Forward is a nonprofit organization that empowers grassroots volunteers (like yourself) to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote. In multiple randomized trials, voters who received a letter were significantly more likely to vote. You can even have writing parties with your friends!
A small reminder about the importance of voting: no matter how you feel about the current administration and what you wish for this country – it is NOT just the President on the ballot. The work happening here in Napa, in our State, and elsewhere matters a great deal. For example, our Countywide Climate Action Committee, the incentives offered to solar buyers and those looking to purchase EVS – these are all a function of local and national networks of leaders. You’re voting for them, too. And even if you feel disenchanted at a federal level you still have a real chance to make a difference here in our local community. Let’s get out the vote!