by Mia DiFelice
The midterm results are in: Democrats have kept their Senate majority, and Republicans will likely have a narrow majority in the House.
Despite Democrats’ setbacks in the House, we still saw victories for food, water, and climate nationwide. At the polls, millions demanded a progressive future for our country; a future that puts people and the planet before greedy corporations.
Food & Water Watch has moved the needle on these issues through our research, advocacy, policy work, and more. And so we knew that whatever happened the results of these midterms, we’d keep working to secure a livable future for all.
Against All Odds, We Have So Much to Celebrate
Food & Water Watch has an unwavering, transformative vision for our collective future; one that delivers clean water, safe food, and a livable climate for everyone. But during this year’s midterms, that vision was on the line.
Extremists, climate-deniers, and corporate-backed cronies flooded the ballots. On top of that, the odds were stacked tall against Democratic candidates. Historically, the party of the president in office rarely keeps both houses in Congress during the following midterms.
Pundits expected a “red wave” through Capitol Hill this year. But that widely predicted “red wave” evaporated into a puddle.
The Democrats’ Senate majority stayed afloat, with a chance to strengthen it in Georgia’s December runoff election. Meanwhile, Republicans can expect to squeak in a House majority by the smallest of margins. With these results, we can still advance a climate agenda in the next two years.
Democratic Wins Defend Democracy and Planet
To realize that agenda, it’s become increasingly clear that we need bold action. We’re not only fighting for lower emissions and a healthier environment — we’re fighting for a world that puts the needs of workers and families above corporate profits.
Under the Trump administration, we fought a long line of rollbacks, corporate handouts, and advancing emissions. But in 2020, Democrats gained a three-part majority (House, Senate, Presidency), and we finally saw progress.
Over the past two years, we saw growing regulations for toxic chemicals, huge deployments of clean energy funds, and new emissions controls. We had leaders who took environmental injustices and the threats of corporate greed more seriously.
The energy behind these policy wins has grown, helping to propel progressive victories this November. In Southwestern Pennsylvania, Summer Lee won on a platform that included a fracking ban in the second-highest gas-producing state in the country. In Florida, Maxwell Alejandro Frost won on promises to take on corporate price-gouging and work toward a Green New Deal.
What’s more, local wins promise even more progress. For instance, in Iowa, State Senator Sarah Trone Garriott won her redistricted seat on a platform that included moratoriums on factory farms and on carbon pipelines permitted under eminent domain. In three Midwest states, Democratic governors beat Republican challengers who threatened state emissions goals and other climate policies.
Wins like these bring us closer than ever to huge climate action. They also show that leaders with bold visions, advocating for bold solutions, can and do win. Nationwide, progressive victories sent a clear signal that voters want real change, now.
Beyond These Midterms: How We’ll Keep Fighting
We’re taking a moment to celebrate the victories, but we know the fight is far from over. Every day, the planet becomes more unlivable. Every day, industries spew pollution into our air and our waterways. Corporate greed still has a stranglehold on our economy; prices continue to rise and company profits are reaching historic highs.
With so much on the line, we’re jumping right back into the fray. First, we’ve already begun working with allies in the House and Senate to keep extremism in check. Just as importantly, we’ll continue working with frontline communities to block fossil fuel projects and keep oil and gas in the ground.
We’re also mobilizing people across the country to push President Biden toward decisive action. His executive authority can move us forward on addressing the critical threats we face. From cutting down climate pollution, to protecting our water, to holding corporations to account, Biden has the power to deliver for everyday people.
In the weeks, years, and months ahead, Food & Water Watch will work tirelessly in support of leaders and policies committed to a livable future for all.
At this moment, we cannot do anything less.
With your help, we can take on what comes next.