Photo by Al Braden
By Becky Bullard
This is going to sound like a cheesy, made-up marketing testimonial, but it is the honest truth. When our Deputy Director Matt Johnson shared with me the Sierra Club’s 2023 Texas Legislative Scorecard and explained the meticulous work that went into producing it, I was in absolute awe.
From my own efforts to educate myself on Texas politics, I know how opaque the legislative process can be. The only way you’re going to get the level of detail that’s in this Scorecard is if people who walked the halls of the Texas Capitol take the time to write down the things they saw and heard in that building. That is what the team at the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter has done.
I personally feel so lucky to have read the Sierra Club’s 2023 Texas Legislative Scorecard, and I am thrilled to share it with you!
Here’s what Matt, our shepherd of the Scorecard, had to say about it:
This year, Sierra Club and its allies challenged some of the worst legislation championed by big polluters while making tremendous progress on issues like pollution reduction, making electricity bills more affordable, and addressing worsening water quality on our coastline, rivers, and streams.
But it’s not enough to generalize when it comes to holding our elected officials accountable to the people. That’s where this scorecard comes in. Elected officials at the Texas Capitol are counting on people like you to forget or overlook what happened this year. That’s why we spent long hours compiling floor votes, committee actions, and more to bring you the clearest answer possible to this simple question: Did your state legislator have the courage to stand up to special interests and vote in your best interests?
This is no cut-and-paste scorecard. It dives deep because our objective is to give Texans a clear picture of the environmental justice and conservation values of elected officials working in the Texas Legislature.
Matt and the team put in long hours to bring you this knowledge. Now it’s your turn to transform that knowledge into power. If people like you don’t speak up, legislators will only listen to corporate special interests.
Here are six things you can do to act:
- Share this scorecard with other Texans. It’s on our website at sc.org/2023TXScorecard and available as a pdf.
- Share what you have learned on social media. Tag your State Rep or State Senator and let them know how they scored and what you think about it (on Instagram, X, or Facebook).
- Vote. It’s as simple as that. (In fact, early voting on some of the items we highlight in the Scorecard ends today, 11/3. Election Day is 11/7. We’re urging folks to vote Against Prop 7 and For Prop 14, while Prop 6 is a little complicated.)
- Reach out to your lawmakers and express your gratitude or dissatisfaction on their actions (or inactions) during the 88th Texas Legislature. Find out who represents you, and then contact your State Reps and State Senators.
- Join our legislative team! We are always looking for motivated Texans ready to take action. Huddle up with like-minded folks to organize a face-to-face meeting with your lawmaker, disseminate factsheets at the Capitol or district offices, write a letter to the editor, help out with a postcard writing campaign, and so much more!
- If you’re unable to volunteer, consider a financial gift to the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter. 100% of your contribution will stay right here in Texas to help our growing team build the power we need to win!
Thank you for all you do to make Texas a better place.
And if you happen to see any of these folks who helped create our 2023 Texas Legislative Scorecard, please give them a hearty high-five: Matt Johnson, Cyrus Reed, Alex Ortiz, Emma Pabst, Eric Krueger, Dave Cortez, and Casey Moser.