With their endorsements of two progressive candidates in high-profile 2018 races this week, two climate action groups made clear that support for bold solutions to fight the climate crisis is a must for Democrats in the coming elections.
350 Action announced its endorsement for New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon on Tuesday, while 350 Bay Area Action has endorsed California legislator Kevin de Leon in his run against Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
"Cynthia Nixon has put forward an impressive and ambitious plan for climate action that supports what communities across New York have been demanding for years," May Boeve, 350 Action executive director, said in a statement as the group announced its support for the progressive activist, who is running to unseat Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "The urgency of climate change means the Empire State must make bold changes, right now, to protect our future. New Yorkers deserve a governor like Cynthia who will work with and for them to transition from fossil fuels to a 100% renewable energy economy."
Nixon has said that as governor, she would put New York on track to shift to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and mandate that 40 percent of the state's energy funding be directed to communities that suffer the most severe effects of the climate crisis.
Under Cuomo, 350.org has said, New York has fallen "drastically behind" in meeting renewable energy goals. The group was one of dozens that organized a march in Albany last month to demand that Cuomo end fracking in the state and hold corporate polluters accountable for damaging New York's communities.
On Wednesday, both 350 Bay Area and 350 Action endorsed de Leon, who as a state Senate leader authored a bill demanding that California shift to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and passed legislation requiring the state's pension funds divest from coal.
"When you have a politician stand up to Big Oil lobbyists, calling them out on their lies, and fighting against man-made climate change, the most serious challenge facing our country and the planet, as he has with precedent-setting legislation, you just have to stand up for a leader like that," said Ken Jones, a member of 350 Bay Area Action's steering committee.
"Kevin de Leon has been a strong champion of clean energy—and an effective one, using his power in Sacramento to make change happen against the strong opposition of the fossil fuel industry," said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. "He won't just vote the right way in D.C., he will make the climate justice debate come alive!"
"If we're serious about reducing climate-warming emissions quickly enough to preserve our life-sustaining systems—and we are—then we have to start voting on climate," Laura Neish, executive director of 350 Bay Area Action, said in a statement endorsing De Leon.