If you care about climate action and a healthy democracy, vote no on the September 14, 2021 recall election.
It would be easy to lose track of this strange and confusing recall election taking place in September in the midst of back-to-school activities and pandemic challenges. Don’t let this one slide. The results could be devastating, destabilizing, and environmentally destructive. When you receive a ballot in the mail later this month, vote. If you’ve moved or haven’t received a sample ballot, register by August 30 at registertovote.ca.gov.
Earlier this year, major environmental groups announced their opposition to the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. Sierra Club California, NRDC Action Fund, California Environmental Justice Alliance Action, and California League of Conservation Voters all signed on. “Our communities are grappling with unprecedented and interconnected economic, public health, and climate crises that require immense government leadership in this moment, which is why this political stunt could have devastating impacts for our families and our future,” said Mary Creasman, CEO of California League of Conservation Voters.
The recall is an expensive distraction (an estimated $276 million cost to taxpayers). The motivations and values driving this recall — framed around opposition to efforts to contain the COVID pandemic — do not align with the values of most Californians. It has nothing to do with allegations of incapacity or high crimes or misdemeanors. It is cynical political opportunism by right-wing extremists who could never win in a general election.
Whoever is elected to be governor (if Newsom is recalled) will then be governor with all of the duties and responsibilities of any governor. That includes appointments. It’s fair to assume that none of Newsom’s appointees — with the exception of those who by statute are in positions that have set terms regardless of the fate of the governor — will be retained. If the recall passes, the person elected to replace Governor Newsom could do major damage to conservation and environmental justice programs. They could fire the heads of the Natural Resources Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous other agencies, and replace them with people much less sympathetic to conservation and environmental justice issues. They could similarly undo advances on a range of progressive issues from criminal justice to LGBTQ rights to immigration to public health.
A “no” vote on the recall is essential to avoid the economic, environmental, and social impact that would result from this untenable situation.