Climate Power 2020 Announces Colorado Co-Chairs
Washington, D.C. – Today, Climate Power 2020 announced its Colorado Co-Chairs, a coalition of state leaders and activists who reflect the diverse, grassroots movement needed to ensure 2020 is a defining moment for how our nation addresses the climate crisis.
Mayor Pro-tem and Aurora City Councilwoman Nicole Johnston, Mayor of Nederland Kristopher Larsen, Vice-Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party Howard Chou, and Co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum Ean Thomas Tafoya are partnering with Climate Power 2020 to hold anti-science candidates accountable for embracing anti-science policies that hurt all Coloradans.
Sixty percent of Coloradans, according to polling from Yale University, are worried about climate change, and almost as many think President Donald Trump and Congress should do more to address climate change. Yet Trump and his congressional allies are ignoring experts, refusing to believe in science, surrendering our government to big oil executives, and gutting public health protections, all at the expense of future generations.
“More and more Americans are feeling the devastation of losing a loved one to climate disasters and toxic pollution. Scientists have been warning us for decades that climate change poses a threat to our wellbeing and we need to take this seriously as climate events become more frequent,” said Aurora Mayor Pro Tem Nicole Johnston. “I’m proud to join Climate Power 2020 in calling for immediate action.”
“Coloradans need real, immediate action to stop the growing threat of climate change. Extreme fires and droughts are becoming more and more commonplace across our state — putting the security and stability of our economy, public health, and safety at serious risk,” said Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen. “2020 is our now or never moment to act. As a scientist and mayor, I’m proud to join Climate Power 2020 as we fight to protect Americans and our planet from the consequences of inaction.”
“Every quality of life that we enjoy is connected to the health of our climate and environment, and we must preserve and protect it with all our might. We cannot forsake our planet any longer as the fate of humanity rests in our ability to protect our environment. The consequences of the climate crisis are readily apparent in Colorado as we already live with extreme heat and extended periods of droughts,” said Howard Chou, First Vice-Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. “Climate Power 2020 and I will partner with all Coloradans ready to fight climate change and bring about real action for our state.”
“Colorado comes in close to last in the United States when it comes to air quality – putting our communities at risk for health complications. As the consequences of the climate crisis become more and more severe, we must address this danger to Coloradans’ wellbeing by taking steps to hold polluters accountable and reverse course on emissions,” said Ean Thomas Tafoya, co-chair of the Colorado Latino Forum. “I’m excited to join the board of Climate Power 2020 as they fight for just and equitable climate action.”
Climate Power 2020 will focus on Colorado because of its importance to the 2020 election map and the high concentration of individuals living there that data shows are most motivated by climate change political messaging. Fifty-eight percent of Coloradans believe Trump should do more to combat climate change even as he dismisses the crisis by calling it a “hoax.”
Colorado communities are also living with the impacts of climate change today with both periods of intense heat and dangerous-low snowfall on the rise, The vast majority of Colorado’s water supply is fueled by snowpack but in some areas, scientists predict annual snowpack could decrease by 90 percent – a threat to community health and the state’s economy.
Colorado is also home to the most polluted ZIP code in the country: Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. Elyria-Swansea is surrounded by refineries and highway exhaust and individuals living there suffer from high rates of chronic health issues.
In the last four general elections, turnout rates among Colorado voters under 35 have been between 7 and 15 percentage points higher than the national average – with roughly 58 percent of citizens under 35 turning out to vote in presidential years. Young voter turnout shrank to 37.8 percent in 2014, which resulted in young voters making up only 19.5 percent of the electorate in a year that was marked by close election results.
This data suggests that an increase in turnout among young voters, could force a conversation on climate change and force anti-science candidates, including President Trump, to defend his failed agenda.
The state co-chairs join an already formidable collection of Advisory Board members including Founder of Fair Fight and the Southern Economic Advancement Project Stacey Abrams, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Co-Author of the Green New Deal, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Founder/CEO, Ocean Collectiv, Former Secretary of State John Kerry, Climate Strike Partnerships Coordinator at the Future Coalition and co-founder of the International Indigenous Youth Council Thomas Lopez, Former Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Former Senator Harry Reid, Former Investor, Philanthropist, and Founder of NextGen America Tom Steyer, Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, and Co-Founder, Sunrise Movement, and Jamal Raad, Co-founder and Campaign Director, Evergreen Action, among others.