Our Perspectives on the Latest Issues
In a December 2017 blog post about PennFuture’s 2018 priorities, President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo wrote, “As part of our new civic engagement program, PennFuture will launch its Green In ’18 campaign. The campaign will elevate the public discussion around environmental issues in the upcoming elections.”
Since then, PennFuture has been working with 20+ environmental, land, air, and water groups and organizations to identify the biggest environment challenges facing Pennsylvania. As a result, this coalition has created and agreed upon the most promising policy solutions to these threats. This process led to the creation of the first-ever Pennsylvania Common Conservation Agenda, a blueprint for restoring and preserving our life-sustaining natural resources.
Not only do these solutions promote a healthier environment and a stronger economy, they are publicly popular, fiscally responsible, and can be enacted by our next Governor using his or her executive authority. In virtually every instance, increases in state spending will be offset through job growth, revenue growth, energy savings, and/or lower healthcare costs.
The agenda was released today during a press conference in Harrisburg, and it will be shared with all candidates running to be Pennsylvania’s next governor. Click here to read it and to find out how you can get involved in the Green in ’18 campaign, which is mobilizing citizens to elevate environmental issues and the policy solutions within the agenda for all candidates running for governor.
Why the candidates? We believe the upcoming gubernatorial election represents is an ideal time to push for changes in the state’s priorities and policies for safeguarding the environment. So, during the election cycle, coalition members will be taking this agenda to the gubernatorial candidates and urging each one to enact our recommendations if they are elected.
Easy, right? If only. In reality, it’s going to take more than our efforts alone to get the candidates to consider and ultimately implement our agenda. It’s also going to require a groundswell of support from Pennsylvania voters, speaking out on several crucial issues. But while the majority of Pennsylvania citizens think the state should do more to safeguard the environment (see results of March 2018 Franklin and Marshall College Poll), the environment is one of many issues voters consider important. To make sure the environment is front and center in the minds of citizens and all of the candidates, we will be backing the agenda with the Green In ’18 campaign.
PennFuture’s new Green in ‘18 campaign will be reaching out to citizens, community groups, and businesses to let them know about the policy solutions we are advocating as a coalition. We have a simple message: a healthy environment is best for everyone in Pennsylvania—children, families, workers, retirees, businesses—now and those yet to come. And the Common Conservation Agenda is the most feasible way to restore and preserve our state’s environment.
Through this process, we hope to increase the urgency of environmental issues in citizens' minds, earn their support for the agenda, and motivate them to attend candidates’ events to ask those candidates where they stand on the environment, what their plans are to safeguard our air, land, and water, and whether they support the agenda. This is the type of pressure that will force the candidates to address our concerns and prioritize clean air, pure water, and a healthy climate.
How can you get involved? For our movement to succeed, we need friends of the environment like you to volunteer to help with the Green In ’18 campaign. You can fill out the form available here to get started.
This is a pivotal moment for the environment in Pennsylvania. The threats have never been more urgent. But thanks to the election calendar, the surging resistance to the status quo among citizens, and the unprecedented unification among conservation organizations in the state, the prospects for difference-making action have never been more positive. By building an army of volunteers committed to rising up for the environment and the Common Conservation Agenda, we believe our cause will be successful. Please join us.