Join Us and Together we will Defeat Donald Trump

It is October 17th, 17 days until election day, and I just spent the morning sealing and stamping over 300 personal hand-written letters to infrequent voters in Arizona - an effort that took dozens of hours over the last month. 300 may not sound like a lot, but I was just one of tens of thousands of other volunteers with Sierra Club Independent Action that together sent over 1.25 million letters in five priority battleground states. 

This afternoon I will join thousands of other volunteers phone banking those same voters to make sure they cast their ballot. These are voters that we know share our values, care about the environment and democracy, but who often don’t vote. Personal letters and calls are one of the best ways to motivate these kinds of voters to go to the polls. And this year we are going to need every single one of those votes.

This is no time to relax. True, Biden is up in many polls, but we’ve all been here before and this feels eerily familiar. By this time in 2016, I felt very confident and slowed down my Get Out the Vote efforts. I still joined a few phone banks, but I didn’t do a final week of door knocking because I thought we had it in the bag. Not this year. This year I’m going to make calls every day until the election. And I want to ask you to join me in this. 

Join me and sign up for a phone bank today. Don’t wait. Do it now. It will feel great!

There are still a few weeks left and Sierra Club Independent Action is running multiple daily phone banks to talk to these infrequent environmental voters and make sure they send in their ballots or have a solid plan to vote on election day. I know most people don’t like making phone calls to strangers. But you know what I bet most people like even less? Another four years of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell destroying our democracy and our planet.  And the reality is that these calls are easy and fun. We are calling people we’ve already pre-identified as Biden supporters. Most of them appreciate the calls and thank you for the reminder and the information. And I can tell you, it feels good to know you are doing everything you can to get every vote.

The contrast between Donald Trump and Joe Biden couldn’t be more stark. We’ve all seen what Trump will do given another four years to eviscerate every single environmental protection our nation has established. And we can also see what Biden has committed to doing, and it truly is inspirational. His environmental plans are far and away the most ambitious and bold any candidate for president has ever put forward. His administration will spend over $2 trillion dollars to confront the climate crisis in a just and equitable way, creating more than 12 million jobs in the process. They will conserve 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030, ban new fossil fuel operations on federal lands, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and undo all of Trump’s malignant and destructive Executive Orders.  And crucially Biden is committed on Day One to fixing our broken democracy and confronting the outsize impact of money in politics, voting rights and voter suppression.

Speaking of voter suppression, I was just talking to a friend who was early voting yesterday in a largely Black precinct. She waited seven  hours to vote. On a Friday, two weeks before the election. Elderly people were literally being taken away from the line by ambulances. This is part of the Republican strategy to steal this election by preventing us from voting. The short term solution is to channel our outrage into action, do everything we can to keep as many polling stations open as possible and inspire people to vote early and drive up the margins for Biden and other environmentalists down the ballot. The longer term solution is to win back the White House and the Senate and pass sweeping legislation to fix our democracy so the Republicans can no longer rule this country with their corporate, white supremacist agenda.

But for now we know voter suppression is happening at scale. And we know Trump is going to try to use every tool at his disposal to hold onto power. So our best hope - and I am hopeful - is to work like hell right now to get out the vote and drive up those margins so we avoid any kind of contested election. It’s a lot harder to steal an election if there’s an electoral college blow out. At the same time, we need to be prepared for Trump and his enablers in the Senate and red state legislatures to continue to show a complete disregard for justice, democracy and the rule of law. The good news is we are preparing for this across the progressive movement. I found this recent piece highly valuable in thinking about how people power and grassroots activism can win the day no matter what Trump tries. 

So for the next 17 days, let’s do everything we can to increase voter turn-out and win this election by historic margins that can’t be challenged. And then, we’ll use our energy to fight like hell the day after the election to ensure every vote is counted and that the will of the people is respected and honored. Together, we are powerful. Together, we can do this. Together, we can end this national nightmare and begin to rebuild and reimagine a country where there truly is liberty and justice for all.