From November 2017 through January 2018, ECC members were asked to complete a survey. The goal of the survey was to see where we have our most active members, which issues are most important to them and to use this information to develop a strategy for passing stronger Climate and Environmental legislation in our state.
We got a total of 44 responses out of 81 members, representing 21 Legislative Districts out of 49. Among those, 15 (out of 33) were from urban/suburban districts, with only 6 (out of 16) from rural districts. Since we only got a single response from most of these districts, we regrouped the districts according to their geography (East or West of the Cascades) as well as their rural vs suburban/urban character.
To the question: “What do you consider the most important environmental and climate issues facing the state?” we got a plethora of answers that our members ranked as their top 3 priority issues. We regrouped those under six themes which we show in the bar chart. Broadly speaking, water issues seem to be in everyone’s mind, be it salmon protection, dam removal, water rights, water run-off pollution, drought, flooding or sea level rise. A second common thread is climate change, with the trio: putting a price on carbon, stopping fossil fuel projects and transitioning into renewable energy. Protecting public lands, irrigated farmland and our food supply also seem to transcend the east-west divide. Not surprisingly, the issues related to housing and urban development are mostly a concern on the west side of the state.
What issues should the Environment and Climate Caucus focus on then? Pretty much all of the above, according to the same survey, with the addition of building strategic partnerships with other caucuses and minority groups. The pie chart illustrates the relative importance of each issue across our membership.
Overall, this survey shows that our caucus is uniquely positioned for cross state conversation about solutions to some of the most pressing and challenging issues we are facing. We hope to increase our outreach in the purple/red districts while maintaining pressure in the deep blue ones.
Thank you, ECC Members, for filling out the survey!