While this year is shaping up to be a challenging presidential election year, don't forget that your state and local officials matter too. I know there are lots of issues to consider from national security, to the economy, to education, to taxes, to healthcare, to immigration, but the environment also needs your voice.
While some of our elected officials are only in office at a minimum of 2 years, the bills and laws they pass have greater impact. In fact, many of the rules and regulations we follow now were passed even before many of us were born so it is imperative that we make our voices heard if not for us now, but for our children and grandchildren.
There are so many environmental topics to keep an eye on in this election year. Here are some that came to my mind. I am sure there are plenty, especially those that are specific to your state or local governments. Stay active. Be informed. Vote Green.
Remember that Voting Green will not only impacts the environment, but the way your dollars are spent.
- Ban on Companies Privatizing Public Water Sources
- Ban on Plastic Bags
- Climate Change
- Improve Our Water Systems
- Support and Funding for Alternative Energy
- Support and Funding for Public Land Preservation
- Review of the Keystone Pipeline
Since I live in New Jersey, you can look up some of the current bills in the NJ State Legislature. Select Environment or any other topic at the top of the page. Legislative elections are held in November of each odd-numbered year. Members of the Assembly serve two-year terms. Senators serve four-year terms, except for the first term of a new decade, which is only two years. This "2-4-4" cycle allows for elections from new districts as soon as possible after each reapportionment. This is an election year. Check your candidates and see how they would vote on the environmental topics listed.
I recently came across this article from NPR Should We Be Having Kids In The Age of Climate Change? It's crazy to think that this is even a question, but I do believe it's a valid question. If we don't change that we way we live now, how can we be sure that our children and grand children live in an earth that is clean. Go to China, go to India, go to Flint (Michigan), you'll notice smog, trash, polluted waters, is that the kind of world we want our children to be living in? Do you want your children to be drinking tainted water, do you want your children to be nourished by plastic, do you want your children to never be able to enjoy the great outdoors?
Michelle Obama was right. This election is really about who shapes the future of our children.