Clean Water Accomplishments in Virginia
On Tuesday, November 3rd, a record number of Virginia voters led the way and elected pro-environmental candidates to the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives, and voted against the Trump Administration’s anti-science agenda.
In response to the pandemic and the closure of our local field offices, we launched a digital canvass campaign and recruited more than 5,000 new members in Virginia in the lead up to election day.
Here are the results:
VA-05: Doctor Cameron Webb (Loss)
Bob Good (R) defeated Cameron Webb (D) for Virginia's 5th Congressional District. Although we are disappointed in the loss, we were pleased to see a record number of voters in the district support the pro-environment candidate compared to previous presidential election years.
The district will be a battleground again in future elections. Clean Water Action will continue to employ our grassroots organizing expertise to this central portion of the state as we look towards the 2022 midterm elections.
VA-07: Abigail Spanberger (Win)
Through the support of voters like you, Abigail Spanberger (D) narrowly won her reelection for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. This is a huge win for the environment, our water and our communities! Abigail was first elected in 2018. Her reelection ensures Virginians will continue to have a leader in Congress who will tackle climate change and protect Virginia coastal communities from rising sea levels.
We want to recognize and especially thank our growing cohort of central Virginia volunteers – Abigail won 50.46% of the vote. That means every single one of you who got the polls, talked to your neighbors and volunteered personally had a hand in winning this race.
VA-10: Jennifer Wexton (Win)
With the support of clean water voters, Jennifer Wexton (D) won her reelection to Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. Jennifer has been a clean water leader since winning a special election for District 33 of the Virginia State Senate in 2014, and we look forward to continuing to work with her office to address climate change and sea level rise, protect coastal communities and ecosystems from offshore oil and gas drilling, and restore the Chesapeake Bay.
Thanks to Clean Water Voters, who joined the record number of people who made their voices heard this year, we finally have an expiration date on the Trump administration -- and it can’t come soon enough. Joe Biden won more votes than any candidate in history because we the people are ready for change.
We want a President who will put people, not polluters first. We want a President who will take bold action on climate change and who will take action to address the environmental injustice we’ve let fester far too long.
Our Washington, D.C. field office has been canvassing and organizing grassroots campaigns in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District for a number of years in an effort to help elect a clean water leader. In 2018, our base building work in rapidly developing Loudoun County finally paid off with the election of Jennifer to Congress. Although we heavily relied on digital outreach this election due to the pandemic, we are proud to see clean water voters continue to voice their support for Jennifer at the ballot box.
A winning strategy - long-term wins for the environment begin at the ballot box
Clean Water Action has a deep history of identifying opportunities to elect local clean water leaders and then winning by putting resources into the field, knocking on thousands of doors and calling and talking to voters. We want to especially thank all of our Northern Virginia members - Jennifer won more than 59% of the vote with a record performance in Loudoun County - demonstrating that our strategic investments in field operations in past elections will continue to pay dividends for years to come.
Next steps - policy victories for a cleaner and greener Virginia!
Although we helped to ensure pro-environment representation will continue in the U.S. House, the road ahead is long and uncertain. Polluter allies will continue to attempt to increase their grip on the U.S. Senate and in state capitols across the country. Clean Water Action’s Virginia program is looking to 2021, identifying state senate and state house districts where the organization can make a difference and elect another crop of clean water leaders. Virginia belongs to a handful of states that hold off-year elections, that is, elections in odd-numbered years that are neither presidential nor midterm years. In Virginia’s case, elections are held in the year after a presidential and before a midterm; thus 2021 is a trifecta election year for the governorship, state senate and state house.
Meanwhile, we’ll continue to focus on holding state legislators up for reelection in November 2021, to their promises, and most importantly, ensuring they vote for a cleaner and greener Virginia during the 2021 General Assembly legislative session. We scored a big victory earlier this year when state lawmakers passed two bills on toxic PFAS chemicals. They set the stage for further action with a Department of Health study on PFAS in drinking water and the potential health risks. The agency is then supposed to set limits on PFAS and other “emerging contaminants” in drinking water. Chemical industry lobbyists are hoping efforts to curb their pollution will end with this study. We can’t let that happen.
We know that our work is just beginning. We have to stay vigilant during the last months of the Trump administration and lay the groundwork to ensure that our water, health, and climate are top priorities from day one of the Biden/Harris administration. We’re ready for that and we’ll need you to join us.