If you are thinking about resolutions for 2018, I have one I would like you to make. Even if you aren't thinking about resolutions for 2018, I have one I want you to consider.
Devote some time to the political process.
Get out there and walk, talk, phone or leaflet for a candidate who has responsible positions on environmental issues in 2018.
That's right, volunteer for a campaign (https://www.sierraclub.org/california/volunteer).
Make that your 2018 resolution.
This coming election year presents a range of possibilities that will make a difference in the long run for the environment in California. But if luck and hard work combine in the right direction, it may also make a difference at the federal level.
California is set to select a new governor, and as I write this, the only thing that's certain about who will win that important race is that it will be someone who has held elective office.
There are also at least seven congressional seats in play in this state. Who wins those seats can make all the difference in the world for the planet's environment.
Then there are state legislators up for election and re-election. A state assemblymember who has never been a friend to the environment just resigned. We don't know who will now run for that seat, but the possibilities include people who have a better record on the environment.
Do you need more reasons to volunteer?
Here's one: it really makes a difference.
Google "canvassing and voter turnout" and you'll find lots of research and opinions about the effects of the legwork volunteers do for political campaigns.
The opinions differ on the effectiveness of most aspects of that work, from walking and knocking on doors to making phone calls to get people to vote. But the one thing that seems to be certain is that canvassing-the door-to-door contact-really does increase voter turnout.
When people are reminded by a friendly person standing at their door that an election is coming up and it's time to vote, then a lot of them decide then and there to make sure they'll vote. Enough make that decision to make a difference in some elections.
Sierra Club California volunteers make a difference in campaigns. Our most active volunteers are busy now helping figure out who to endorse next year. We've already made a few endorsements and by the time the June primary comes around, there will be dozens of endorsements posted on our website.
But endorsements are only the start. What campaigns need and want are people who can devote a few hours of time to knock on doors and talk to prospective voters.
I started canvassing for campaigns when I was in high school. That was a long time ago, but it's proven to be a lifetime habit. I don't volunteer every election year, but I try to volunteer during the big ones, the ones where I feel I can make a difference.
This upcoming election year is going to be one of those.
Join me in 2018.
Make a resolution now that you'll give at least 10 hours of time to a campaign for a candidate who cares about the environment. If you're someone who likes to make your resolutions public to make sure they stick, send a note to us via our volunteer page (https://www.sierraclub.org/california/volunteer) telling us about your resolution.
We may bump into each other on the campaign canvas.
Sincerely, Kathryn Phillips Director
Thank you for being a part of our work! You may securely donate http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=d8862cb366d3399d35cb7f367a9a8066f23f19469a69868a53dcb1e814d9a8b67ea0c9511270c8997f7e2ca067f8feada08802f45c0c4f66539944966cae1946 online or by sending a check to Sierra Club California at 909 12th Street, Suite 202, Sacramento, CA 95814.