First Endorsements 2014: Hawaii

Update, August 15, 2014: Brian Schatz defeats his challenger! We're utterly confident that he'll win in November.
Congrats Brian Schatz

We helped Stanley Chang raise his profile as the most progressive of the candidates running in the First Congressional District, and we helped elevate the importance of climate change as an issue in the race.

We called over 2000 voters, registered 50 new and mostly young voters, and held too-many-to-count one-on-one conversations with voters on the importance of voting climate.

We're delighted to announce our first two endorsements: Brian Schatz for Senate-Hawaii and Stanley Chang for Congress in Hawaii's 1st Congressional District. And we're backing our endorsements with boots, or in our case talons, on the ground in advance of the August 9 primary.

Practically the first words Brian Schatz said upon arrival in Washington were: "Climate change is urgent, solveable, human-caused, and real." He's shaken up the Senate by, among other things, organizing the #UpForClimate all-night talkathon. And he told a Netroots Nation 2013 panel the same thing that they heard at Climate Hawks Votes' NN13 off-grid talk the previous day: we need to elect Democrats who will prioritize the climate crisis, not just treat it as yet another Democratic issue.

In short, he's Climate Hawks Votes' prototype politician - a Democrat bringing new energy to Washington, prioritizing the issue, engaging the public, and laying groundwork for bold action on climate.

He's leading on climate while also leading on other issues as well. He's become a Senate champion on protecting and expanding Social Security, gun violence prevention, and similar progressive priorities, and is endorsed by PCCC and MoveOn, among others. Oh, and he's been endorsed by a certain Hawaii-born resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Stanley Chang is a Honolulu city councilmember acting locally - leading the charge to ban styrofoam within city limits - and thinking global warming. He's been endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, and he literally studied under Elizabeth Warren (she taught his Harvard Law class). He campaigns hard and his fundraising is excellent. He has a very solid grasp of climate science and how it affects Oahu. And he's putting climate on his website, which matters - among the many factors on our climate leadership scorecard is whether they mention clean energy (good) or advocate climate policies from opposing the Keystone XL pipeline to ending fossil fuel subsidies (much better).

Like Sen. Schatz, Chang will bring new energy to Congress. Like Sen. Schatz, he'll also stand up for other progressive causes, from LGBT rights to raising the minimum wage. We're excited to endorse both!

Endorsements matter in persuading voters, but talking to voters matters more. That's why we're backing up our endorsement with organization on the ground in Honolulu. We'll be independent of both campaigns, per federal rules, to help elect both of these climate leaders. That means registering and reaching out to voters.

Which brings us to the obligatory fundraising appeal: the more we have, the more we can do. Donate here or via ActBlue. Mahalo!

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