By Cybelle Shattuck
Fall is in the air, the season of pumpkin spice, bright leaves, and elections. As we prepare to participate in one of the most vital acts of citizenship, voting, it is important to locate information that can help us make informed choices. For those seeking information on environmental and justice issues, here are some useful resources.
One of the best places to find information about local and state candidates comes from the League of Women Voters, which has adopted environment as a focus issue (lwv-environment). LWV asks about environmental problems in the questionnaire they give to election candidates. You can read and compare candidates’ answers in the printed voter guide or online at Vote411.org (vote411.org).
The Michigan League of Conservation Voters (michiganlcv.org) is a nonpartisan organization that evaluates the environmental records of sitting legislators and judges and also asks candidates about their environmental positions. You can look up legislators’ environmental scores on the Accountability Scorecard and can also check to see who has earned an LCV endorsement.
Another resource that may be of use comes from Faith Climate Justice Voter, an organization that produces a Faithful Voter Reflection Guide (Reflection Guide) in both English and Spanish. The guide is “intended to spur discussion and discernment” about issues such as protecting the environment, voting rights, immigrants, economic security, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, affordable health care, global peace and security. It does not tell people how to vote, but tries to “provide a framework for evaluating issues and candidates in a way that prioritizes solutions that promote dignity and the common good.” Each page includes a brief overview of how an issue connects with faith and justice, along with some questions that can be used to “guide conversations and spark ideas for questions to ask political candidates.” This resource may be useful for people who want to start conversations with family or friends who belong to religious traditions or for thinking about how to frame questions for political candidates so as to highlight the importance of addressing connections between environmental and social justice.
We can make sure our legislators know that voters in Michigan are deeply concerned about the climate crisis. Let’s make certain they hear our voices and heed the call to care for our beautiful Earth home and ensure that all people have access to clean air and water, nutritious food, and energy efficient homes.