Over the next six weeks, the Ohio Student Environmental Coalition and young people across the state of Ohio, will be working to “make green a primary color.” We are working to define our decade by putting energy and climate concerns in the middle of the political discussion, and by building support for a clean energy economy that can solve our economic and environmental crises.
May 4th is primary day, and there is a lot at stake; the path forward on energy is being discussed in local and state races across the state, and has been at the centerpiece of the race for Ohio’s Senate seat where Republican Rob Portman will run against the victor of the Democratic Primary: a hotly contested race between Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.
Both Brunner and Fisher already know that in the Buckeye State, young people are looking for real and ambitious solutions and commitment to fighting our economic and environmental crises; they both spoke at last November’s Ohio Power Shift conference where 500 students from across the state assembled to plan how to take their vision of a state free of environmental injustice, and bustling with clean energy to a reality.
With all these students back on their campuses, the plan is to continue the discussion with an ever broadening group of people, and make sure people know about the opportunity to weigh in through the primary elections. Voter registration drives are underway on campuses across the state to get young people registered by the April 5th deadline, and on April 3rd we’ll start shifting our focus to turning people out to vote for clean energy candidates during the early voting period leading up to election day on May 4th.
No matter who wins these elections, we’ll be building the movement of support for a just and sustainable economy. This movement is what has the potential to define our decade, and here in Ohio, we are working to build and flex it in many different ways. From Oberlin to Ohio Wesleyan to Ohio U, we are working to move our campuses beyond coal, and this summer we’ll be turning our talk into action through home weatherization, energy efficiency and urban gardening initiatives in Cleveland. But first, it’s time for our politicians to wake up and for us to make green a primary color!