By John Feldmann, Chapter Political Committee Chair
We just completed the election cycle for 2012. The Sierra Club Missouri Chapter played an active role endorsing many state and federal legislators with excellent environmental voting records and supporting them by informing our members. We used the following process to determine which candidates to consider for endorsement:
- We developed an environmental scorecard for state House and Senate incumbents based on 11 key votes taken in the state legislature over the last 2 years. All state House and Senate members were “graded” based on their voting records including voting absences. A copy of the voting scorecard can be found on our website at www.missouri.sierraclub.org. The scorecard gives accurate information on how our legislators voted and is one way to evaluate them. Much of the work concerning bills and amendments is done in committee and many important bills never make it to the House or Senate floor for vote. This is one tool to understand your legislator’s performance.
- In addition to our voting scorecard we sent out environmental questionnaires to help assess candidates’ commitment to environmental issues.
Together, the voting scorecard and questionnaires were valuable tools to help the Chapter Political Committee make decisions on Missouri Sierra Club endorsements.
The result of our effort was a number of excellent endorsements for state races. We then contacted our members via postcard, email, and volunteer phone calls to get the message out about the environmental champions in Missouri.
Our effort was rewarded by winning our top priority state legislative races in metro KC, Springfield, and St. Louis. We defeated three anti-environment incumbents, including Senator Lembke and Representative Brown in St. Louis County and Representative Leach in Springfield. Scott Sifton (Senate 1) and Vicki Englund (House 94) in St. Louis County won their races and Charlie Norr (House 132) in Springfield won his race.
We have a long way to go to bring a pro-environmental legislature to Missouri. We’ll keep working at it and hopefully achieve even better results in 2014. I want to thank you for your support of the folks we’ve endorsed this election cycle and especially everyone that volunteered to help in these elections. To see the results in all of our 36 targeted races, go to missouri.sierraclub.org.
If you would like to get more active in our political committee, please email me at email@example.com.