Election Day is Tuesday, November 5th
Join me and be a climate-conscious voter!
Everyone in the General Assembly is up for a vote: all the State Senators and the House of Delegates for Virginia. Depending on where you live, local candidates like your sheriff, board of supervisors, Commonwealth’s attorney, school board, and city council might also be on the ballot.
I'm sure this is obvious, but it's essential to take a look at all the candidates on your ballot ahead of time. For most of us, it's hard to pay attention to stuff like "board of supervisors" (honestly, until a few years ago, I didn't know I had a Board of Supervisors) but local officials control stuff like public transportation and recycling programs, so these races can make a difference for climate policy.
The party that wins the majority on November 5th will control the committees and serve as the gatekeeper for all legislation that gets voted on in 2020. For all of the races on November 5th--from the state races through the local races--the outcome will shape our policy around climate change, so we hope you’ll vote!
Dominion Energy: Know The History
If you are concerned about energy policy in the state of Virginia, it’d be worth reading up on the environmental record of our primary utility company, Dominion Energy. Dominion historically has been one of the biggest donors to politicians, both Republican and Democratic. Just in the past couple of years, there has been a growing number of candidates who have promised not to take money from Dominion. Here's that list.
Swing Districts: Close Races Are Worth Extra Attention
Here's a list of close races. You'll see that Henrico and Chesterfield counties are a hotbed of close races. Close races deserve extra attention because our individual efforts have an outsized impact on those races. Obviously, it’s important to vote on November 5th, but if you want Virginia policy to address climate change, consider volunteering for climate-conscious candidates too! There are lots of easy ways to get involved: Canvassing can be surprisingly fun, and kids are welcome. If talking to strangers at their front door isn't your thing, you could write postcards for candidates, or try phone-banking from your home or a candidate’s office--they'll give you a script. And if you’re short on time, you could choose, instead, to donate money.
Who is My Legislator? This offers a quick way to figure out who currently holds office in your district.
Ballotpedia: This website lays out who is on the ballot in the upcoming election.
Virginia Department of Elections: This is the state-run website for registering to vote, confirming your polling location, and voting absentee.
Virginia Public Access Project, VPAP: This is a great public resource for finding information about your community and local candidates/officeholders. Start by typing in your address on the home page. You can also use VPAP to see how much money your candidates took from Dominion.
About the Author:
Beth Kreydatus has been a member of Mothers Out Front since February of 2019. She lives in Henrico with her family and teaches in the Focused Inquiry department at VCU. She spends most of her spare time working on climate issues and walking her adorable dog.