Hello clean air and climate friends: These email blasts normally go out once every two weeks, but this is a special post with a simple message: it’s time to step up.
Four years ago, in 2019, we tried to make the 2020 ballot. We ended up with 30,000 valid signatures, which is not nothing but fell short of the 135,000 signatures needed to qualify. We learned a lot and are putting that learning to use this year.
One piece of good news is that we are way ahead of where we were in 2019. The biggest difference is that in in 2019 we waited for the legislative session to end before filing our measure, and so we didn’t start collecting signatures until July 1. This year we filed at the beginning of the legislative session; by the end of April we will have about 5,000 valid signatures (despite an extremely unusual amount of cold and rain in March and probably April as well) and we still have two months to go before July 1.
There’s more good news, too:
* We have detailed calendars of upcoming signature-gathering events that cover the state: north of SLC, south of Provo, and the west and east sides of the SLC to Provo area.
* We have nearly real-time data on valid signatures by state senate district, which is key because we need to hit signature targets in 26 of the 29 state districts. What that data shows is that we have had exceptionally strong showings to date in the St George and Logan areas (thank you Lisa R, Elise, Brynn, and colleagues!), which is exactly the kind of “outside-in” strategy that experienced campaigners recommend.
* We have an effective organizational structure that is doing a lot with a little. With no paid staff and a very modest budget we have signature-gathering materials (stickers, signboards, petition packets), we have solid systems for tracking packets and analyzing packet data (thank you Patty and Shreya!), we have a media presence and a social media presence (thank you London!), and we have ways to bring new volunteers into the campaign and get them up to speed (just show up at events on the calendars that are marked in red, where experienced volunteers will provide training and materials).
* We have a solid policy that is pocketbook-friendly and business-friendly, the kind of policy that gives us a chance to fulfill the promise in our campaign plan: to come up with a policy that folks like Mitt Romney could support, and then to get folks like Mitt Romney to support it. (It helps that air quality continues to be a major issue in Utah politics, that climate change is a growing concern, and that Senator Romney continues to be a vocal proponent of carbon taxes.)
The good news, in short, is that there is a clear path that will get us on the ballot and give us a shot at winning at the ballot.
The bad news is that we’re not yet on that path. We need you to step up now, because the next two months are crucial.
Our most pressing need is for volunteers to collect signatures. If you can devote one block of 1-2 hours a week to gathering at venues like Bees games, concerts, and farmers markets then you can collect 50 signatures a week, which will turn into 500 signatures over the next two months. Double that and you’ll be in the 1,000 Club. Do even more and you can be like Dave Carrier and Colleen Farmer, who started in 2019 with no experience at all and ended up with over 5,000 signatures each. All it takes is that first push, so give yourself a chance to see how easy (even, dare we say it, fun!) it can be to make tangible progress toward an optimistic vision for clean air and climate action.
There are of course other ways you can help—by writing op-ed pieces or Letters to The Editor, by making a donation so that we can buy more stickers, by telling us about upcoming events that aren’t on our campaign calendars—but collecting signatures is our most pressing need because of the unforgiving nature of the ballot measure process. If we hit the signature targets then we will make the ballot, and if we don’t then we won’t. That’s why signature gathering is our #1 ask, and our #2 ask, and our #3 ask.
Thanks for your consideration. We hope you will step up and help us move forward with clean air and climate action!