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Earth Challenge 5780

August: Mobilize Environmental Voters

In the face of the climate crisis, we must establish new spiritual, social, and consumer norms. We’re working to shift one habit at a time so that we can move effectively and collectively toward systemic change. Join us in taking on these monthly challenges! #Earth5780

Right now we’re experiencing a radical disruption in our way of living because of COVID-19 and a mass  uprising for racial justice. The Earth Challenge was designed to respond to a different but intertwined crisis, one that is unfolding more slowly but will be no less deadly than this disease and the systemic racism that has shaped our society and economy. We’re learning through this time of upheaval that what seemed unimaginable societal change is possible when we choose to act–even in our fear and vulnerability–for the collective good.

With this in mind, we ask you to join us from now through November 3 in mobilizing registered voters who state they support environmental action,  but don’t always vote. We want to make sure they make their voices heard at the ballot box in the coming election and beyond. 

TORAH

Rabbi Jennie Rosenn, Founder & CEO of Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action

We are living in such a dark and frightening time in human history.  And yet the Jewish people, like many peoples, have before faced the threat of annihilation.

The story at the core of our people’s narrative is the journey out of a mitzrayim, Egypt, or literally, a “narrow place.” A place of oppression and genocide. 

While wandering in the desert, God reminds us that the path forward, and our redemption, is not in the heavens or beyond our reach. Lo b’shamayim hi. God tells us, “It is not too baffling for you or…beyond your reach.  It is not in the heavens…neither is it beyond the sea…. No, the thing is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart.” 

Making clear just how high the stakes are, God goes on to say, “I set before you this day life and prosperity, death and adversity…. blessing and curse.  Choose life–so  you and your offspring will live.”  

In the face of the overwhelming climate crisis, this passage calls us to action, but it also offers us strength and reassurance.  Lo b’shamayim hi, it is not in heaven or beyond our reach.  It is in our mouths and in our hearts, and we can do it.

It is also in our hands, in both senses of the phrase. It is in our hands: It is up to us.  And also it is in our hands: We have the capacity. We have the science, we have the resources, we have the people, and we have the power. 

Lo b’shamayim hi.  Let us gather the people and exercise our power–so we and our offspring may live.

SCIENCE

Ever wondered why politicians don’t take environmental protection more seriously? According to the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) a non-partisan not-for-profit, one important reason is that many registered voters who state that they care deeply about the environment do not vote reliably: In the 2014 midterms, about 15 million registered voters who prioritize environmental issues simply did not show up at the polls, and in 2016, some 10 million self-identified environmentally-driven registered voters did not vote. 

Fortunately, get-out-the-vote techniques have become increasingly sophisticated and effective, using the tools of behavioral science to encourage voters to show up on election day. If these techniques were used to encourage committed environmentalists to vote, politicians would be far more inclined to support and advance environmental protection and climate action. 

The non-partisan Environmental Voter Project has as its mission to increase turnout of environmentally-committed voters so that their concerns and values will more powerfully impact elected officials. The EVP trains volunteers across the country to mobilize environmental voters in key local, state, and federal elections.

CHALLENGE

Join IKAR Green Action, IKAR Community Organizing, and the Environmental Voter Project to reach out to people who hold environmentalist values but are unlikely voters, and urge them to vote. All our calls and texts will add up to make a real difference in November and beyond. 

Get trained

  • Join us this Wednesday, August 5, at 4:30 pm for an EVP Volunteer Training Webinar. 
  • Or sign up for one of EVP’s frequent training sessions at a time that works for you. 

Then join us for IKAR’s ½-hour  ZOOM PHONE/TEXT BANK PARTIES! We’ll get on Zoom together every Wednesday, 5:00-5:30 pm, from August through the election. 

With less than 12  weeks to the election, every voter we get to the polls counts!

Can’t do the training with us or join any of our phone/text parties? No problem! It’s quick and easy to get trained directly with EVP, and once you’re trained you can call and/or text using their platform any time.

RESOURCES

Read about the link between racial justice and the environmental crisis: 

Racism is Killing the Planet – Sierra Club
There is No Climate Justice Without Racial Justice – SoCal350.org
Why communities of color are demanding environmental justice – Los Angeles Times
Racism derails our attempts to fight the climate crisis – The Washington Post

Dayenu is a new Jewish organization mobilizing the American Jewish community to confront climate change. Join Dayenu’s call for a just green recovery, create or join a Dayenu Circle, and engage in bold national campaigns.