How to Find Out Where Your Congressperson Stands on Climate Change
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OK, now it's starting to get a little exciting.
With a month to go, people by the thousands have begun inviting presidential candidates and members of Congress to come speak about climate change at Step It Up events on Nov. 3 -- and we've started getting some RSVPs.
Some are planning to come: Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), and Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) from the U.S. House of Representatives; and from the Senate, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). They have agreed to speak in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. (Rep. Weiner was a big hit at last spring's Sea of People rally in lower Manhattan.)
Many more are checking their schedules and getting right back to us, including at least a couple of the presidential front-runners. It will be very useful to know who wants to take this issue on, to hear them speak and see if they plan on being politicians or are willing to be leaders instead. And it will be just as useful to know who has other priorities that they think are more important. For instance, Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, has "other events scheduled for the day."
We'd kind of counted on him coming: he staged the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, after all. Surely he's worried by those pictures of ice melting across the planet. (It doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't care about global warming, of course -- in fact, as federal law makes clear, nonprofits like us can't read anything in to who attends a forum and who doesn't. In the words of Fox News, "We report, you decide.")
Here's the thing: you can help enormously. This is one time where you can do the inviting without even having to throw the party. Go to the Invite Tool, find your congressperson, and invite them. Then invite your two senators. And then invite all 17 presidential candidates. That's 20 invites, in way less than 20 minutes. With our nifty software, each one will get a customized invitation to come to the event nearest you.
And then you can sit back with us and watch the returns roll in!
Bill McKibben is the author of 10 books, most recently Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College in Vermont.