Across the world, our communities are seeing the damaging effects of climate change. From wildfires raging in the Western States, to heat records in Europe, to hurricanes down the Atlantic and Gulf Coast, it is clear: climate change is devastating our communities.
As people of faith, it is critical that we protect our neighbors, both locally and globally, from the impacts of climate change, both now and into the future.
In this moment, one of the most important ways for us to do that is to vote.
When we vote for candidates who will protect our neighbors from the impacts of climate change and encourage our elected officials to make policy decisions that defend, rather than desecrate, the environment, we live out our call to be faithful stewards of Creation.
Join Interfaith Power & Light this year in ensuring the moral voice for Creation is heard in the 2018 elections. We hope that all people of faith and conscience will consider the visible, human impacts of climate change when they vote, and hold firm to a belief in the restoration of the world.
Below, you’ll find resources to help you understand how to engage in the election as a person of faith, and how to vote your values, as a steward of the world, and a caretaker of your community.
As a nonpartisan nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization we do not endorse specific candidates, nor do our congregations. But that doesn’t mean we should not encourage and support our congregants in doing their civic duty and voting.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
Election Checklist for 501(c)(3) Public Charities: Ensuring Election Year Advocacy Efforts Remain Nonpartisan
November elections are quickly approaching – has your 501(c)(3) gotten involved yet? Learn what activities your 501(c)(3) public charity can do this election season with our trusty factsheet.
Know the facts
Many states have changed their voting requirements and procedures in recent years. For example, early voting may have been ended, and ID may now be required to vote. Find out what’s required in your state and make sure your congregants know — print it in the bulletin and/or post it on your website.
Ensure you (and your friends) are registered to vote
Consider launching a voter registration drive at your congregation. You can get voter registration cards free from your local Registrar of Voters, or public library. Set up a table after services and ask people to register, then turn the forms in yourself (be sure to do so well in advance of the required number of days so they can vote in the next election). Remember that people who have moved since the last election need to re-register.
Host a candidate forum and ask good questions!
A house of worship is a great place to hold a candidate forum, and encourage civil discourse. They can also be important opportunities for people to meet the candidates personally, and have their questions answered directly. Be sure to invite candidates from both parties, and consider partnering with an experienced nonpartisan organization like the League of Women Voters to organize the event.
Here are a few guides from our partners to help you engage candidates:
- United Church of Christ: Organize a Candidate Forum
- Friends Committee on National Legislation: Questions for Candidates
- Non-profit Vote: Hosting a Candidate Forum
Read our Faith Voter Reflection Guide
IPL has partnered with our partner organization Faith in Public Life to produce a multi-issue Faith Voter Reflection Guide for the 2016 election. Though the candidates are different for the 2018 election, the issues at stake remain urgent and salient. This guide is nonpartisan and interfaith and intended to help voters connect their values to the issues at stake in the election.
Check out these other resources for engaging in the 2018 elections:
- Webinar – Our Faith, Our Vote: How to get involved in the 2018 elections
- From Blessed Tomorrow: Talking About Voting and Climate Change
- From Sojourners and Skinner Leadership Institute: Lawyers & Collars: Voter Education and Protection Program
- From the United Church of Christ: Guidelines for Congregations on Political Action
- From Auburn Seminary: “You – the nation’s faith leaders – are the moral authority in our nation today. And there is no more important time than this for you to raise your voice.”
- Last-Minute Tips for Figuring Out Your Ballot and Making Sure You Can Vote from ProPublica