The 2024 election has begun!!! 

Whoa whoa whoa, hold your horses — we checked the calendar and 2023 is up first. 

Since last week's big Senate win in Georgia, we have seen the tweets proclaiming 2024 is here. But at Climate Cabinet, we know that 2023 is not an off year for climate elections.

In 2023, we have huge opportunities to elect climate leaders to key municipal offices nationwide, and to win back the pro-climate legislative majority that made Virginia a leader in the South. The margins are small and the consequences are big. In 2021, just 694 votes cost climate champions the majority in the Virginia legislature, putting advocates on defense for the past year. Getting back on track in 2023 starts now.

What's more, when we elect great climate leaders to state and local office, we are electing the next generation of leadership. We are thrilled to see Climate Slate candidates like Andres Cano, Darrin Camilleri, Athena Hollins, and Mitzi Epstein chosen by their peers for legislative leadership positions. Their new positions will allow them to more effectively push for climate policy now and in the future. We're also excited to see former Climate Slate candidate Rep. Summer Lee step into Congress!

This is what building the bench looks like — and this is why we can't wait to announce our 2023 Climate Slate leaders over the coming weeks and months. Keep reading to learn more about a major win in Louisiana, our Virginia accountability work, and rising Climate Cabinet stars. 

Welcome back to the Climate Cabinet Newsletter!

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Climate Slate win in Louisiana!
In an incredible victory for climate justice and Louisiana families, Davante Lewis was elected to the Louisiana Public Service Commission in a landslide this Saturday. 

The Public Service Commission (PSC) oversees Louisiana’s gas and electric utilities, as well as transportation and pipelines, so it is key to have a champion for clean energy and ratepayer protections in this office. And the decisions made there have ramifications far outside the state's border: the Louisiana PSC plays a role in governing transmission expansion across MISO, the Midwest electric grid. 

Davante Lewis is a Louisiana native and long-time advocate for working communities, having worked to pass legislation to increase the minimum wage and protecting student loan borrowers. As he steps into office, Commissioner Lewis will champion clean energy, green jobs, anti-corruption reforms, and prioritize initiatives that promote economic development. 

His victory has flipped the commission to a pro-climate and pro-consumer majority. We can't wait to see his leadership in action. 

To read more on the dynamics within this race — including big utility money moving to block Lewis' victory — check out this explainer from Climate Cabinet alum Shelby Green. 
Tomorrow! Virginia Drives Electric ⚡️
Defending the Clean Car Standards is at the top of the legislative agenda in 2023, beginning in Virginia this January. No matter where you're based, please join Climate Cabinet tomorrow for a virtual town hall with five of our climate champions in the Virginia legislature to dive into the benefits and opportunity of vehicle electrification.

Details: Tuesday, December 13th, 7pm 
RSVP here
👩🏽‍⚖️ Setting the Agenda, Holding the Gavel 
We are thrilled to see so many Climate Slate candidates take leadership positions within their chambers. In these positions, they will help set the legislative agenda and fight to prioritize climate action.
  • In Arizona, Andres Cano has been elected as leader of the State House Democratic Caucus.
  • In Minnesota, Athena Hollins has been elected as the Majority Whip.
  • In Michigan, two-time Climate Slate member Darrin Camilleri will bring his talents to the role of Assistant Majority Leader in the State Senate.
Read more about these three candidates here.
🚨 Virginia Scores Are Here 🚨 
Last week, we released updated Climate Scores for Virginia Legislators.

Why? Virginia is a key climate leader in the South, but our hardwon progress is at risk. Not all legislators are fighting for our future. There is a strong partisan divide between pro-climate legislators, and legislators working on behalf of special interests. 
  • The average score for Democrats was: A
  • And the average score for Republicans was: F
Virginians - and Americans broadly - are ready to act on climate change. These legislative scores are just the first step in demanding our representatives vote with us.
Download and read the full report
Climate Cabinet in the News 🗞
What We're Reading: "Youngkin’s energy plan would set Virginia back"

Virginia has stood out for being a climate leader in the South. However, Glenn Youngkin's energy plan threatens to undo all that progress. Del. Rip Sullivan explains why it's bad for climate and throws Virginians and local businesses under the bus.

Read the full op-ed here.
Climate Slate image
The work of electing 2023 candidates starts now! Help climate champions hit the ground running with a donation to the Climate Slate now.
Help Elect Climate Leaders

Candidate Spotlight: Jennifer McClellan

State Senator Jennifer McClellan is a key clean energy advocate in the legislature. She championed the VA Clean Economy Act through the Senate in 2020, and has continued to promote and protect electric mobility policy in 2021 and 2022.

Together, we're building a groundswell of support for local climate leadership. Thanks for being with us.

- The Climate Cabinet Team

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