Today, Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of PA, PennEnvironment, and the Sierra Club endorsed Jim Kenney for mayor in the Democratic primary. Together, these four groups represent more than 120,000 members and supporters in Philadelphia – individuals committed to a cleaner environment and prepared to vote for pro-environment candidates.
“On Earth Day, Philadelphians from all walks of life reflect on the steps they can take to better protect our environment and planet,” noted PennEnvironment’s Executive Director David Masur. “We’re here to tell the city’s residents that if they want to take action for our environment in the name of Earth Day, they should commit to voting for Jim Kenney for mayor on May 19th.”
This marks the first time that any of these citizen-based environmental groups has made an endorsement in the Philadelphia mayoral election. These groups endorsed Kenney because his record and his plans offer a unique opportunity to protect the health of millions of Philadelphians and their environment.
“Jim Kenney has been at the forefront of supporting and crafting common sense solutions to some of our most difficult environmental problems,” said Brooks Mountcastle, Eastern PA Director, Clean Water Action. “Meanwhile, State Senator Anthony Williams voted for Act 13, which empowered the fossil fuel industry and stripped municipalities’ ability to protect their communities from gas drilling.”
While each organization uses different criteria to make endorsement decisions, the citizen-based environmental groups collaborated to draft and distribute a questionnaire to address many of the most pressing environmental and public health issues facing Philadelphia.
Lynn Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Jim Kenney and Anthony Williams each submitted questionnaire responses on issues including renewable energy, green infrastructure, oil and gas development, plastic bags, and climate change. Their responses are available in full at www.conservationpa.org/2015mayoral
“Jim Kenney’s promises to support clean energy, fight pollution, and protect our health are backed up by years of environmental leadership in the City Council,” said Josh McNeil, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of PA. “Good environmental laws come from good environmental lawmakers, and Jim Kenney is one of the best.”
Kenney created the City Council’s Committee on the Environment, sponsored bills to require energy efficient roofs and encourage solar energy development, and took steps to reduce energy consumption. He has pledged to defend drinking water, promote energy efficiency, and safeguard Philadelphia’s parks.
“We want Philadelphia to continue on the path of becoming the greenest city in America, and Jim has played a key role in that journey so far,” said Karen Melton of Sierra Club. “We believe he will be a champion for energy and building efficiency, clean air and water, and for investments that move the city toward long term sustainability.”
These 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations work to promote policies that protect the health of Pennsylvania's citizens and our shared environment. To help those policies succeed, they work to educate voters, inform candidates, and elect environmental champions to office.
“I'm very excited to have the endorsement of these dedicated environmentalists,” said Kenney. “One of my proudest moments in City Council was creating the first Committee on the Environment so that we could protect our air and water from pollution and ensure that our natural resources would be there for generations to come. As mayor, I look forward to working with these groups to make public transportation more energy efficient, increase the city's green spaces, and reduce the City's carbon footprint."