Source: This is a quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson on the internet. However, according to monticello.org (Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc), "This quotation has never been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson."
Notes: On April 8, 2016, writer D.L. Tucker posted this blog post, Step one to make politicians care about climate change: VOTE! on the Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) website.
In this blog post, Tucker starts out by writing:
"Change doesn’t happen unless people vote for it — and the changes needed to expedite our country’s shift away from fossil fuels won’t occur on a scale dramatic enough to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis unless legions of voters focused on protecting future generations show up to vote consistently.
This is the philosophy behind the The Environmental Voter Project, a new nonpartisan initiative by veteran political consultant Nathaniel Stinnett to identify, register and motivate climate-concerned citizens to make their voices heard every Election Day."
Tucker then quotes Nathiel Stinnett on his key results:
"In early 2014, my research revealed some really surprising data: namely, that there are actually tens of millions of Americans who deeply care about the environment as one of their top political priorities…but these people are awful voters, so they never show up in likely voter polls and they’re never targeted by political campaigns.
This made me realize that the environmental movement may not have a ‘persuasion’ problem; instead, we may just have a ‘turnout’ problem. And that’s good news because getting an already-persuaded environmentalist to vote is far easier (and cheaper) than persuading a non-environmentalist to begin caring about the environment.”
Stinnett’s efforts to identify "superenvironmentalists" who normally don't vote and persuade them to vote achieved success in the November, 2015, Boston municipal elections. It "boosted turnout by 3.4% and increased their targets’ overall likelihood of voting by 40%. 3.4% is a big deal in the election business – just ask Al Gore how big a deal 3.4% is!"
Stinnett went on to say,
“Politicians need to get elected in order to make policy, so they always have an eye on the issues that voters care about. But non-voters? Nope. No politician is ever going to spend their political capital pushing legislation that only non-voters care about. This is why we need to fix the environmental voter turnout problem."
This D.L Tucker blog reminds me of this anonymous quote attributed on the internet to Thomas Jefferson:
“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”
In order to get politicians to act on climate change, more environmental voters need to show up on election day and VOTE!
Image Source: biography.com