The 2016 elections will be critical in determining how our country responds to the climate crisis and if we follow through on the commitments we made to the rest of the world in Paris. We hope that all people of faith and conscience will consider the climate and care for Creation when they vote. To help, IPL worked with Faith in Public Life to include climate change in the Faith Voter Reflection Guide. This guide addresses multiple issues relevant to the faith voter. Feel free to print it out and share it with your faith community. As a nonpartisan nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization we do not endorse specific candidates, nor do our congregations. But that doesn’t mean we should not encourage and support our congregants in doing their civic duty and voting.
Here are some other ways you can get involved:
Know the facts
Many states have changed their voting requirements and procedures in recent years. For example, early voting may have been ended, and ID may now be required to vote. Find out what’s required in your state and make sure your congregants know — print it in the bulletin and/or post it on your website.
Consider launching a voter registration drive at your congregation. You can get voter registration cards free from your local Registrar of Voters, or public library. Set up a table after services and ask people to register, then turn the forms in yourself (be sure to do so well in advance of the required number of days so they can vote in the next election). Remember that people who have moved since the last election need to re-register.
Organize a Candidate Forum
A house of worship is a great place to hold a candidate forum, and encourage civil discourse. They can also be important opportunities for people to meet the candidates personally, and have their questions answered directly. Be sure to invite candidates from both parties, and consider partnering with an experienced nonpartisan organization like the League of Women Voters to organize the event. This guide from the United Church of Christ can help you plan an event that makes sense for your community, whether it be a full fledged debate or a coffee hour with the candidates. Download.
Share the Faith Voter Reflection Guide with your faith community
IPL worked with our partner organization Faith in Public Life to produce a multi-issue Faith Voter Reflection Guide, here. It is nonpartisan and interfaith and intended to help voters connect their values to the issues at stake in the election. Please post it on your website, include a link in your newsletter, or print it and share it with your faith community.
California Interfaith Power & Light supports California’s Plastic Bag Ban. VOTE YES ON PROP 67
Plastic bag bans have proven to reduce waste and save energy, according to Californians Against Waste: Californians use almost 13.8 billion bags each year. Plastic bags litter our streets and oceans, endanger marine life, and take many years to biodegrade. The plastic and chemical industries have already raised over $6 million to try to overturn the ban. Visit this website for more about the issue.
2016 statewide climate legislation California IPL is currently following:
AB 1550 (Gomez)
Current law requires the Department of Finance, in consultation with the state board and any other relevant state agency, to develop, as specified, a 3-year investment plan for the moneys deposited in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. This bill would require the investment plan to allocate a minimum of 25% of the available moneys in the fund to projects located within disadvantaged communities and a separate and additional 25% to projects that benefit low-income households.
AB 2722 (Burke)
Would create the Transformative Climate Communities Program, to be administered by the Strategic Growth Council. The bill would appropriate $250,000,000 from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the council to administer the program. The bill would require the council, in coordination with the California Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs, to award competitive grants to specified eligible entities for transformative climate community plans in disadvantaged communities, as defined.
SB 32 (Pavley)
Would require the State Air Resources Board to approve a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit that is equivalent to 40% below the 1990 level to be achieved by 2030. The bill also would state the intent of the Legislature for the Legislature and appropriate agencies to adopt complementary policies that ensure the long-term emissions reductions advance specified criteria. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
SB 1383 (Lara)
Would require the State Air Resources Board to approve and implement that comprehensive strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants to achieve a reduction in methane by 40%, hydrofluorocarbon gases by 40%, and anthropogenic black carbon by 50% below 2013 levels by 2030, as specified.
SB 1279 (Hancock)
SB 1279 states that the California Transportation Commission shall not allocate state funds for any project at a port facility located at, or adjacent to, a disadvantaged community if it includes plans to export coal from the state.
Endorse California Delivers
This is a crucial time to demonstrate to our California legislators and the public the support of the faith community for climate action. California Delivers is a coalition of businesses, workers, community and faith leaders, and advocates for public health, consumers, and low-income families that supports the full and timely implementation of California climate solutions.
Explore California’s Climate Investments and explore case studies from The Greenlining Institute
Learn more about climate solutions through The Solutions Project