Antioch University New England (ANE) students, who joined thousands of student organizers across the country and launched their Power Vote pledge campaign early this semester, are celebrating their accomplishments today. Power Vote is a nonpartisan, voter education campaign sponsored by the Energy Action Coalition. It sought to mobilize hundreds of thousands of new “climate voters” on campuses all across the country. As of 9:30 am on November 3, ANE was listed as seventh in Power Vote’s national Top Ten Pledges (by percent of school size) ranking.
At Antioch New England, student organizers collected close to six hundred Power Vote pledges, which represents over fifty percent of Antioch New England’s students, faculty, and staff. Organizers asked for pledges by manning on-campus event tables, giving short presentations in individual professor’s classrooms, and through internet postings and targeted emails. ANE President David Caruso, ANE’s faculty senate, the ANE Student Alliance, ANE’s Department of Education, and ANE’s Environmental Studies Department have all endorsed the student-led Power-Vote efforts at Antioch.
According to Antioch Power Vote organizer John Lippmann, the 2008 election has been a rare opportunity to push for a new national agenda of clean energy, green economy and environmental justice. “Participation in Power Vote,” says Lippmann, “has also helped us gain organizing skills necessary to help make this happen both at Antioch New England and in our communities beyond the classroom.” The ANE Power Vote campaign was begun as a service-learning project for professor Steve Chase’s “Organizing Social Movements and Campaigns” class. Steve is the director of ANE’s environmental advocacy program.
On October 29th at 8:30 pm, Al Gore also addressed ANE’s Power Vote group and others across the country in a live webcast. He stressed the importance of young people and students taking action to halt the climate crisis and called for voters to hold “elected officials accountable for repowering America through our voice and our vote on November 4.”
Today, the day after a historic election that mandated a significant shift toward support for national Power Vote goals, Antioch Power Vote stands ready for the next round of its work. Antioch Power Vote will soon begin working on designing a statewide accountability campaign to make sure that newly elected US Senator Jean Shaheen takes the lead on creating a green economy that is powerful enough to protect the climate and lift millions of people out of poverty.