November 7, 2018
Contact: Mark Morgenstein, [email protected], (o) 303-573-5556, (c) 678-427-1671
Come January, the House of Representatives will be greener than it’s been in years.
“Thanks to the voters, the House finally will stand up to the executive branch and provide responsible oversight when the administration ignores science and tries to undermine key environmental protections,” said Environment America Action Fund (EAAF) Senior Vice President & Political Director Wendy Wendlandt. “We look forward to working with our new members of Congress to promote renewable energy, fund our national parks, and defend against unpopular attacks on environmental policies such as the Clean Water Rule.”
This year, EAAF and its sister group Environment America focused on the need for more environmental voices in Congress.
“We were looking for the next Jared Huffman, the next Ed Markey — the next generation of environmental leaders on Capitol Hill,” said Wendlandt. “We are particularly proud of having helped elect voices for the environment in districts previously represented by anti-environmental Congress members. We look forward to working with newcomers such as Sean Casten in Illinois, Dean Phillips in Minnesota, Susan Wild in Pennsylvania and Anthony Brindisi in New York.”
EAAF’s GreenHouse Project selected 10 races where voters had a clear choice between a solid environmental candidate and a candidate with a record of voting against clean air, clean water, climate action and other environmental values. GreenHouse sent a series of nearly 600,000 pieces of reinforcing direct mail, digital and live phone communications to a targeted universe of environmentally motivated, persuadable voters. Its digital ads were displayed 12 million times to those voters to help elect pro-environment candidates to Congress this election cycle.
GreenHouse was just one of several programs to help environmentally-friendly candidates. Environment America and EAAF endorsed 33 pro-environment U.S. House candidates and 8 like-minded U.S. Senate candidates. As of this morning, at least 23 of those House candidates and five of the Senate candidates had won, with several races still outstanding. Some of those victors, such as Lauren Underwood in Illinois and Elaine Luria in Virginia, pulled off major upsets. We expect that number of wins to grow throughout the day.
Environment America’s state affiliates also endorsed state-level candidates in California, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. All three gubernatorial candidates endorsed by state affiliates won.
EAAF helped dozens more candidates indirectly with more than $12 million in contributions to other committees. EAAF donated $5 million apiece to the League of Conservation Voters Victory Fund and the LCV 527 Political Engagement Fund, and ran an independent expenditure program in Pennsylvania to support a slate of state-level candidates and help re-elect Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. EAAF also donated more than $2 million to Fair Share Action, which worked to elect sustainable economy candidates at both state and federal levels.
While a majority of the candidates that EAAF supported won, some came up short, despite being great candidates and taking bold stands on the environment.
“We know that voters are deeply concerned about the environment. A recent Chapman University poll out of Southern California, where I live, shows that five out of the ten top fears of the public are about the environment, including deep concern about air and water pollution,” said Wendlandt. “We need to convince more potential voters that they should translate those fears into action at the ballot box. We will only make substantial progress by winning the hearts and minds of more voters in 2020 and beyond. We look forward to that challenge.”
Environment America Action Fund works to protect our environment by supporting candidates for public office who champion clean air, clean water, wilderness preservation, and strong action to address global warming. The Environment America Action Fund is a part of the Environment America family of organizations.