Forgive the U.S. focus of my note this month, but it’s election week here, and the need for strong American leadership on the issues at stake is critical. While sustainability is a global issue, what this country does in terms of managing natural resources affects the rest of the world.
As we keep hearing, democracy requires each of us to show up and be counted, and midterm elections typically suffer from lower voter turnout. So our participation is more important than ever. Personally, I mailed in my ballot last week, and I simply cannot encourage each of you in the U.S. enough to place your vote in this round of elections (and to participate in your governmental systems). And when you do, be sure to vote for pro-sustainability candidates!
As an organization that serves professionals, what’s been inspiring us is the overwhelming number of leading companies (150+)–from Walmart to Lyft– plus, the numerous small businesses around the country, that are out there supporting the nonpartisan “Time to Vote” campaign. Patagonia and others will even go to the extent of closing their doors on Tuesday, Nov. 6th so every one of their U.S. based employees can vote. When has big business ever been this good?! Change is finally here and it’s each of our civic duties to keep it that way.
If it helps, my commitment to vote, much like my commitment to be a sustainability professional, is summed up in this quote:
“We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us, it’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government.”
– Former President Barack Obama, from his 2012 DNC Nomination acceptance speech
Again, for those of you living and working elsewhere, please know that ISSP is very much committed to advancing eco-diplomacy worldwide. We also believe that electing the right officials in our local elections is the first step in getting the U.S. back on track with the Paris Agreement and SDGs, and in rejoining the international community’s widespread consensus on climate change. However, let us use this as an opportunity to thank you for fighting the good fight while we have had to turn inward at this important time in history.
By Jeff Yorzyk, ISSP-CSP, President of the ISSP Board, Associate Director of Sustainability at HelloFresh