Principles to Guide Political Engagement

(1) We support candidates who, if elected, would represent a significant break with the status quo for their district. We want candidates who take major leaps forward in one or more of our policy priority areas (see below). This looks different in different parts of America. Examples could include:

  • A politician in Louisiana who opposes public bailouts of the oil industry

  • A politician in Virginia who opposes a pipeline being developed by the state’s most powerful corporation, Dominion

  • A politician in Minnesota who supports a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy in their state

  • A politician who only has moderately strong stances on climate issues, but who is going up against one of the worst-of-the-worst fossil fuel puppets

(2) We support politicians who will represent us, not the fossil fuel industry. Whether or not a candidate is willing to take money from the oil, gas and coal industry is a fairly clear litmus test of whose interests that politician is likely to represent.

  • In primary elections, we only support candidates who refuse to take any money from the oil, gas, and coal industry.

  • In general elections, we are less strict because we recognize that an imperfect candidate could, in some cases, still represent a significant leap forward (see above) by defeating a powerful opponent with a long history of putting the interests of oil and gas executives first. No matter what, we will make this a major demand for general elections and push candidates on this issue.

(3) No permanent friends. No permanent enemies. Our only permanent allegiance is to protecting our communities, our shared home, and our future. We have to make it clear to politicians that our power and support are earned, and not a given. Just because we have supported a candidate in the past doesn’t mean that we will continue to support them in the future if there emerges (or the movement puts forth) a viable candidate that is better aligned with and more committed to our values and policy priorities.