Nathaniel Stinnett knows he’s preaching to the choir. The problem is, even believers don’t always show up for church.
Dismayed by how low environmental concerns like climate change, pollution and pipelines rank on surveys of voter priorities, Stinnett founded the nonpartisan Environmental Voter Project three years ago on the hunch that a substantial number of people care about environmental issues and are registered to vote, but don’t show up on Election Day.
The Environmental Voter Project expanded its work to Georgia earlier this year for the closely-watched special election for the state’s 6th District. It has yet to fully quantify its efforts there, but is already planning to expand to other states.
The group now plans to launch in Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania, where it has identified 2.4 million “non-voting super environmentalists.” All four states are likely to be key battlegrounds in the 2018 midterm and gubernatorial elections, but Stinnett’s goal isn’t to secure victories for specific candidates.
“We’re not an election-winning organization, we’re an electorate-changing organization,” he said.