October 7, 2022

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Why Voting Local is the #1 Way You Can Fight Climate Change

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Peril & Promise is a public media initiative from WNET telling human stories of climate change and its solutions. Learn more at: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/peril-and-promise/

If you’re in the United States and you turn on the TV, accidentally open twitter, or start to read a newspaper app, chances are you’ll see a bunch of people talking about the upcoming federal election.

But what you might not see much of – coverage of the local elections where you live. Let alone, information about those policy makers’ climate ideas.

Which is frustrating because, I’m going to let you in on a little secret now: a lot of climate policy happens at the state and local level.

Compared to the federal government, local and state lawmakers are typically more efficient – they get more done in less time. They’re often easier to get in contact with and just physically closer than your federal lawmakers working in DC. Plus, local laws tend to have a lot more direct impact on your life and how your community responds to the climate crisis. For example, a lot of your local tax money probably goes to fund education. Your locally elected school board is in charge of how that funding is used, and they get to decide if your local school district buys electric busses, or adds a climate change section to the curriculum.

But why is that? Why is your local government so much better set up for implementing climate solutions than the federal government?

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