Addressing the Environment’s ‘Voter Turnout Problem’

Thanks to Andrew Hartley at the United Methodist Church’s Creation Justice Movement for generating this Great Idea!

Andrew Hartley writes, “Even though we adopt environmentally responsible [personal] habits, America and the world need to do so much more. God’s Earth is still being degraded, and recent government decisions have worsened that degradation…[Y]et many who care for creation are not involved in the most basic ways: They are not voting.”

Hartley shares some startling statistics about who is voting and when – and the power a midterm election can have.

Now is the time, congregations that care about God’s beloved creation! “The environment movement has a voter turnout problem.”

How might your congregation address it??

There are many wonderful books, powerful videos and articles, and inspiring curricula – most of which can be useful in intergenerational settings to fuel brilliant conversations – and spark action!

Turn that action into systemic change by broaching the subject of voter turnout: Hartley’s article provides plenty of urgency and underscores voter agency.

You might create yard signs urging neighbors to vote for the environment; learn where candidates stand at the League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. Don’t be afraid to broach the subject of specific candidates in a study session: keep the focus on environmental implications – with grace and clarity of actual data – and see if folx can’t come to an accord.

Become a voter registration hub for your community: gather resources that help folx learn how to register, how and where to vote, and their rights and responsibilities when it comes to completing their ballot.

Not sure about talking about voting in your setting? Our Census & Voting guide includes resources from all of the denominations we serve: read your own or consider everyone’s as part of the preparation and discussion. And/or walk through the Lawyers & Collars website and you may discover answers to questions you didn’t know you had!

Still concerned about bringing up what historically has been considered a ‘divisive issue’? It is concerning, yet, congregations engaged with social activism and justice are precisely the congregations that are thriving and growing in our pre-post-Covid and mid-racial-reckoning world. You can find resources to support you as you enter the growing season before new birth in our Leaders in Change and Conflict lib guide here.

The environment has a voter turnout problem. Your congregation can help mend that!