How We're Different
There are a lot of environmental organizations doing great voter contact work (and we partner with many of them), but the Environmental Voter Project takes a different approach from these other groups, and we fill an essential niche in the environmental movement.
We Have Different Goals
Most environmental groups focus on endorsing environmental candidates and then helping them win elections. This is crucially important work, but the Environmental Voter Project takes a different and complementary approach: we focus on changing the electorate, rather than trying to win isolated elections. We focus on voters, not candidates. Why? Because even when the environmental movement elects good environmental candidates, these politicians won’t lead on environmental issues unless large numbers of voters force them to. Quite simply, politicians will always go where the votes are. And right now, most environmentalists don’t vote, so politicians consistently ignore us and our priorities. This is why the Environmental Voter Project is laser-focused on solving the environmental voter turnout problem. We’re building an army of consistent environmental voters who show up for every election (local, state, and federal) to ratchet up the pressure on politicians until they truly lead on climate change and the environment. If we flood the polls, politicians will be forced to provide the environmental leadership we demand...or they’ll be out of a job.
We Talk To Different Voters
Since most environmental groups are trying to win the next big election for their endorsed candidates, they rightly focus on targeting voters who are likely (or fairly likely) to show up on a particular Election Day. The Environmental Voter Project never talks to these voters -- all we care about is turning non-voting environmentalists into super-voters, so we only focus on the environmentalists who rarely or never vote. In short, we zig where other groups zag. We only mobilize the voters who won’t be targeted by endorsement groups and campaigns; and once we believe a non-voter has turned into a consistent voter, EVP will stop contacting them, secure in the knowledge that other organizations will now mobilize these new super-voters we’ve created.
We’re Active In Different Elections
By necessity, most environmental groups focus their resources on electing endorsed candidates in a few, high priority elections. The Environmental Voter Project takes a different, complementary approach: we’re in the habit-changing business, so every election presents an opportunity to turn non-voters into voters. This means that, once we identify the poorly-voting environmentalists in a state, we enter into a long-term conversation with them, nudging them to vote in every election - local, state, and federal. We even mobilize environmentalists to vote in elections that seemingly have nothing to do with the environment - such as district attorney races - because (a) voting is a sticky habit: someone who votes for the first time is then significantly more likely to vote in the next election, and (b) once EVP gets someone to vote, that voting data almost immediately shows up in public voter files, leading other groups and campaigns to start targeting this newly activated voter as part of their own mobilization programs. In short, the Environmental Voter Project is acting as a pipeline, pushing environmentalists into the electoral process, and we won’t stop until we’ve built an army of environmental super voters.