Today, the Sierra Club enthusiastically endorsed Secretary Hillary Clinton for president. Throughout the primary, Clinton has listened to the environmental movement’s call to protect our public lands, address environmental injustices, and continue to expand the clean energy revolution — and she has responded with detailed plans that will build on our movement’s victories and President Obama’s legacy.
Watching Secretary Clinton speak after Tuesday’s primaries, I couldn’t help but think of how historic the moment was. Less than 100 years ago, women obtained the right to vote. Just over 40 years ago, it was affirmed that women had the right to make health decisions about their own bodies. In 2009, it was declared that equal work deserves equal pay — something we have yet to achieve. And today, in 2016, a major political party has finally nominated a woman to be our president. My daughters and young women everywhere have a powerful example showing that they are equal to and have the same rights and opportunities as any man.
However, as I watched the returns and history in the making, I couldn’t forget the dark side of this election. Secretary Clinton now faces a misogynistic, racist, and reckless opponent in Donald Trump, a man who is simply not fit for office. This is a candidate who talks about women as objects, questions a federal judge’s ability to do his job because of his heritage, and brags about being a climate denier.
Candidate Trump delights in sowing divisiveness; his presidency would be no different. The inspiring message of the People’s Climate March, however, was that “to change everything, we need everyone.” Indeed, American history has shown that as a people we are strongest when we come together. That’s why all of us need to do everything we can — with the strength of millions — to make sure Donald Trump doesn’t even come close to victory this November.
Democratic primary voters have had the good fortune of two candidates whose debate centered on ideas and policies — for keeping dirty fuels in the ground, for protecting our public lands, and for supporting our rapidly growing clean energy economy. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Clinton talked of ways to build our country up — not of how to tear it down.
Senator Sanders ran a hard-fought campaign that elevated climate change and protecting our environment while reducing inequality as key issues in the Democratic primary. Senator Sanders and his supporters bring the passionate, principled advocacy that we need, and we are eager to continue working together to keep these issues at the forefront in campaigns across the country and in Congress.
And, at the end of this process, Secretary Clinton has proposed the strongest set of environmental and climate policies of any presidential nominee in history. During her first term, she wants to install half a billion solar panels — enough to power every home in America. She would defend the Clean Power Plan, prohibit drilling in the waters of the Arctic and Atlantic, and ensure that low-income communities aren’t left behind in the transition to clean energy. Rather than subjecting our public lands and waters to more mining and drilling, she would make them an engine of our clean energy economy through a 10-fold increase in renewable energy within 10 years.
This endorsement is by no means the end to our engagement, nor is it an endorsement of every Clinton policy and proposal. Just as we have for the past eight years with President Obama, we will stand with a President Clinton on some issues, while pushing her to be stronger on others. When we do disagree, we will stand in principled opposition to our next president.
First, though, we must once again harness the Sierra Club’s massive grassroots power and go out into the streets to make a Clinton White House a reality. We must also elect leaders to Congress, to governor’s offices, and to state legislatures who will do more than just talk about leaving dirty fuels in the ground and transitioning to 100% clean energy — they’ll actually get the job done.
The stakes are incredibly high. We have 152 days until the election on November 8. Let’s make every one of them count.