Power Vote

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama earned the opportunity to lead our country for another four years. And that means that our movement must fight harder for climate action than we ever have before. The candidate that the fossil fuel lobby spent millions trying to get into the White House lost last. But if clean energy is going to win, our movement must be ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work right away. There isn’t a moment to lose.

Big Oil, Big Coal and the 1% pledged to spend record amounts -- over $1 billion -- trying to rollback the progress we’ve made on building a clean energy economy, but once again we showed that people power can overcome. And it almost worked.

For the first time in many of our lives, climate wasn’t even mentioned in the Presidential debates. Instead, we saw a race to the bottom as the candidates competed over who had the plan to burn the planet the fastest.

But time and time again, our movement rose to the occasion; we organized people power to stand up to all the dirty money, and misleading TV ads that led to a near silence on climate change. We organized with people in the grassroots to demand climate action, and demand the candidates break their silence.

And on Tuesday, thanks to many of you, our generation proved it’s power and it’s passion when we mobilized like never before: in 2012, Millennials were any even greater share of the electorate than we were in 2008. Nobody expected this. With all the challenges and growing cynicism, people expected that youth vote would stay home; but we didn’t, we showed them that no matter how great the challenge, we’re determined to meet it.

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There’s not a lot to say about this election that hasn’t already been said, but there’s one story you haven’t been hearing enough about: it’s a story about us, but mostly it’s a story about you.

Our generation is going to vote in record numbers, and our voices will be heard. More importantly though, your voice will be heard, on the issues and the candidates that matter to you.

Find your polling place and hours: http://www.powervote.org/vote

Once you go to the polls, make this “I Voted” badge your Facebook profile image to join our virtual vote mob.

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There’s one vote on climate and clean energy this election that’s pretty clear and simple: Michigan’s renewable energy ballot initiative, Proposition 3. And right now, it needs our help.

Prop 3 is being called “the most important clean-energy vote this year” because it would substantially boost the state’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) and help further develop Michigan’s clean energy economy, bringing much needed jobs to the state.

Not surprisingly (but still outrageously), dirty energy utilities and fossil fuel-funded front groups are spending million of dollars to defeat Prop 3, running misleading Ads, producing faulty reports and spreading disinformation about the initiative. And it’s not just from in-state utilities, Canadian pipeline company Enbridge, which dumped nearly 1 million gallons into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010 and the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (a coal industry front group) also contributed to the campaign to defeat Proposition 3.

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As I stood ankle-deep in sea water on the corner of 10th and Alton Street, one of the busiest intersections in Miami Beach, I wondered what else it was going to take to get our candidates to recognize the urgency of climate change. When we say its the most important issue of our generation, we’re not kidding. Because of sea-level rise, Florida is already experiencing the effects on climate change in our coastal cities. Check out the new study done by the Union of Concerned Scientists with all the details here.

Together with Climate Parents, Union of Concerned Scientists, the CLEO Institute, and Urban Paradise Guild, we came together on Thursday to call on President Obama and Governor Romney to be leaders on climate change. We can no longer deny its existence or ignore it for the sake of political gain. We must take action now. Take a look at the video above, and spread the word.

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Are you sick of the climate silence? Are you sick of the non-stop SuperPAC ads from the fossil fuel industry? Yeah, we are too.

But when we saw this video from Florida A&M student Duresny Nemorin and 200 other students in Florida, we had a crazy idea — what if we put up our own ad, with youth voices, asking the critical question Duresny frames so perfectly: “What will your administration do to address our generation’s greatest challenge, the global climate crisis?”

It turns out, our crazy idea isn’t that crazy. We reached out to our friends at LoudSauce and found out we can crowdfund this thing. If 500 of us give $5 or more we can turn this video of movement leaders into an ad that will reach millions of people on national TV!

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Last Thursday, October 11th, students from Florida International University made their way over to one of President Obama’s many campaign stops in Florida. The mission: shake the President’s hand, while asking him to support real clean energy solutions, and break the silence on climate change.

It was a tall order. Not only were there about 10,000 other people also trying to get into the campaign event, but trying to bird-dog the President was a mission in itself.

After waiting in line for nearly three hours under the blazing South Florida sun, student leaders Alexandra Colby and Javier Zapata were finally able to get through the airport-tight security and make it inside the Bank United Center, where they were determined to get close to Obama, who has been campaigning heavily in Florida over the past few months. By the time we got in, the event was nearly over, and we were ushered into a small room where the President would be greeting constituents right after his speech.

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On my 18th birthday almost ten years ago my dad took me to our local town hall and I registered to vote. Growing up in a small town in Maine there was a big focus on community and my parents encouraged us to be involved. A few short weeks after my birthday, I voted for the first time in our local election. The following year, I voted in my first Presidential election, and I’ve been voting in major elections ever since.  

In 2008, I graduated from college and knew I needed to help young people vote in the election. I landed an organizing job with Sierra Student Coalition working on the Power Vote Campaign in Athens, Ohio. It was there that I truly realized the importance of the youth vote and the power of our generation.

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