4 things you can do to help organize the Climate Vote
We can only change the status quo of climate politics in Canada if we unite an unprecedented alliance of climate voters to elect champions. Here’s how you can help.
Photo Credit: Nhattan Nguyen
1. Write a letter to the editor endorsing your local climate champion
If we’re going to elect climate champions, we need climate voters across the country to rally behind them. But, a lot of those people still aren’t sure who to vote for. We know that friends and neighbours are some of the most trusted voices when it comes to making this decision, and that’s why writing a letter to the editors of your local papers can be such a powerful tool in spreading the word. Here’s how you can do that:
Step 1: Check out our Endorsed Candidate Grid to find out if there is a climate champion in your riding. Read their bio and check out their candidate page to learn a little bit more about them.
Step 2: Find a local paper. You probably already know the paper where you live, but if not you can easily search the name of your town or city and “local paper” to find one.
Step 3: Find out how to submit a letter to the editor. The easiest way to do this is to either go to the contact section of your local newspaper and look for the right email, or search “letter to the editor submission LOCAL PAPER NAME” in Google. You should either find an email or a form you can submit your letter to.
This summer, the climate crisis truly came home to Canada. We experienced extreme heat, raging wildfires, floods and smoke from coast to coast to coast. In BC, hundreds of people died during the “heat dome”, the first climate disaster to claim lives at that scale in Canada. This is a climate emergency.
That’s why, on election day, I’m casting my vote for NAME. I’m voting for them because they are a real climate champion, someone we can trust to deliver action at the scale we need to tackle this crisis.
Tackling this crisis means doing two things, stopping fossil fuel expansion and implementing a just transition that leaves no one behind. NAME is the only candidate who will do that, and who can win in this riding. We need to get out of the cycle of Liberal climate delay and Conservative climate denial. We can do that by voting together for real climate champions like NAME.
Your name, your city
Step 5: Let us know when it’s published! Post your letter on social media and use the hashtag #ClimateAlliance. We’ll keep an eye out for these and be sharing them through our social media.
2. Share this video
pIn the final week of the election, we’ll hear from Liberals and Conservatives that they are the only two choices, but we know that decades of Conservative climate denial and Liberal climate delay is what got us in this mess. That’s why our closing argument to climate voters is that they should reject this false choice.
We just launched a video about our movement for a Climate Emergency Voters Alliance. Can you take a minute to share it with your friends and networks?
3. Organize your friends to go vote for climate champions
We won’t win the fight against climate change without talking to people at our kitchen tables, in check-out lines, and at coffee shops across the country. But the good thing is, every single one of us is capable of doing this work.
HAVE ONE-ON-ONE CLIMATE CONVERSATIONS One-on-one conversations are the single most important thing you can do to compel people to take action. With any one-on-one chat your job is to make someone realize that:
They care about the problem
There’s a decision-maker that has the power to fix the problem
They won’t fix the problem without pressure
If they really want the problem to be fixed, they need to join you and others in taking action.
The acronym AHUY is helpful for remembering what it takes to move someone to act:
ANGER: This is an injustice. We have to fix it.
HOPE: Change is possible. We can fix this. Here’s our plan.
URGENCY: Now’s the time. We can’t wait any longer.
YOU: Can make a difference. Your participation matters.
Here are some tips for your one-on-one
Ask them questions that make them think about the issues, power dynamics, injustice, etc. This is your opportunity to make them realize that a lot of the issues they’re thinking about— housing, affordability, economic inequality — are inseparable from the climate crisis and that tackling climate change means shifting the balance of power in our society to work for the many and not the few.
After getting them fired up, you need to offer them hope. Remind them of how many people have taken action these last few years to demand action on the climate emergency.
Try to get a commitment from them or some kind of follow-up action on their part. (e.g. that they will talk to five friends to encourage them to vote for the most climate-conscious candidate in their riding, that they will read about the parties’ platforms, etc.)
Set a follow-up plan. As organizer Fred Ross put it, “90 percent of organizing is follow-up”— Agree on the next step and when you’ll check back in with each other. This could be calling them back in a few days to see whether they’ve reached out to their five friends, or agreeing to meet up over coffee once they’ve done some research into their local candidates.
EMAIL YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES Many of us have friends and family members who are concerned about climate change but aren’t that politically engaged. If you’re not able to meet with them in person or call them on the phone, consider sending them an email encouraging them to vote for climate action and climate champions on September 20.
Here is a template email you can send Hi ______, I [heard/saw] that you have been posting about the climate emergency. I’m anxious about climate change as well. Canada’s on fire, and with this election, we have an opportunity to elect leaders who will act like it. This means election day, September 20th, is a critical moment for us to elect people who have what it takes to tackle the climate emergency. This means we can’t afford to vote for people who don’t acknowledge the scale of the climate crisis, and have a meaningful plan to address it. The good news is there are candidates across the country who have both a plan and the track record to back it up. You can find out who they are here. If you don’t have an endorsed candidate in your riding, I’d really encourage you to read about the parties’ platforms and how they stack up against the level of climate action we need to see from our elected leaders. I’ll be honest, I’m really terrified about what the future holds but I have hope because I know so many people like you recognize the crisis we’re in and the change we need to act accordingly. If you want to talk more about the upcoming federal election or about what you can do personally to ensure our leaders are taking the climate emergency seriously, feel free to give me a call. With love, __________
SMS AND SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING
With less a week to go before Election Day, it’s impossible for us to have one-on-one, in-person conversations with everyone we know but that doesn’t mean we can’t do outreach to dozens of people in our lives! Reaching out to people via SMS and social media messaging is a great way to remind people that this election is apivotal one for climate action in this country. While posting on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook is good, sending direct messages to people is a far more effective form of engagement.
Here is a sample text or DM Hey ____ ! I noticed you’ve been posting about the climate crisis this summer. I’ve been reaching out to friends and family across the country because I want to help unite the climate vote and send some real climate champions to Ottawa. I think the federal election is a really critical time for us to elect leaders who are prepared to tackle climate change and inequality at the same time. What’s giving me hope is that there’s a lot of organizing going on right now. I’ve already heard of a number of candidates who have what it takes to rise to the challenge and make life better for all of us. Here are some candidates that I’m excited about and that I think have what it takes to navigate us through 4 of the 9 remaining years scientists say we have left to completely turn things around: climatealliance.ca Let me know if you have questions about voting, if you want to go vote together, or if you want to talk about the candidates in your riding!
4. Join our team of text bankers
As a volunteer texter for 350 Canada, you’ll join a national team of passionate volunteers. We’re using the power of peer-to-peer (P2P) text messaging to mobilize tens of thousands of people across the country to get out the vote for climate champions who can change the status quo of climate inaction in Canada.
We are looking for energetic, tech-savvy volunteers to help us text tens of thousands of climate voters across Canada using our P2P texting tool. All you need to join us is a computer, tablet or mobile device and an internet connection.