THE PROBLEM

How do we get legislators to advance clean energy policy?

Despite widespread support for clean energy across the state, its an issue that constituents aren’t typically vocal about. Legislators hear from the same people, causing legislation to stall and resulting in a missed opportunity of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that neighboring states have already captured.

OUR SOLUTION

Use film to diversify & amplify new voices

In partnership with Conservation Voters of South Carolina (CVSC), we launched the Dear South Carolina tour. From Beasts of the Southern Wild’s reflection on the aftermath faced by African-American communities after Hurricane Katrina to The Burden’s look at the military’s energy dependance, we used films to engage audiences that legislators don’t typically hear from on this issue. Following the films, attendees shared messages with legislators calling for a transition to clean energy. To increase accountability, legislators were invited to select screenings where they had the chance to respond to constituents and we were able to capture their stance on clean energy on camera.

Photos: CVSC
THE OUTCOME

Unanimous support for solar legislation

CVSC rallied this new base of supporters at the S.C. State House, creating visible support for clean energy that could no longer be ignored. In May 2019, despite a well organized opposition, the Energy Freedom Act passed unanimously in the House and Senate, a landmark piece of legislation that will make solar energy a more competitive option across the state.

EXPLORE THE CAMPAIGN

See more at www.DearSouthCarolina.com

ORGANIZING TOOLS

Explore the Dear Legislator poster tools that help connect the voices of constituents with legislators.

CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS

Thousands of
new champions

From veterans to church-goers, we activated thousands of community members across 10 counties.

Influenced new solar legislation

Marked increase in legislative contacts contributed to unanimous passage of the Energy Freedom Act

Engaged 9
legislators

9 legislators attended events – 7 (R),  2 (D) – sharing their support for clean energy on the record.

“Our field organizing program was able to increase the number of legislative contacts by 30% from what we have seen in prior years. It’s a shot of adrenaline that just allows us to take what we do to the next level.”

John TynanExecutive Director of CVSC

NEW CLIMATE CHAMPIONS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Through our statewide film tour, we are elevating local conservation issues and building the political will needed for clean energy legislation.

Gary Davis

Trout Unlimited leader

Gary Davis, member of the local Mountain Bridge chapter of Trout Unlimited, drew the connection between the story of Chasing Coral and how the warming of local waterways is leading to declining trout populations. Gary helped recruit Trout Unlimited members to future screenings and encouraged community members to elevate this important conservation issue as legislators weigh the state’s energy future.

Jason Elliott

S.C. State Representative (R)

Constituents wrote messages urging State House Representative Jason Elliott (R) to change his mind on supporting solar legislation. He had previously voted down bills that would bring the state of South Carolina closer to a clean energy future. After attending a screening of Chasing Coral and seeing the messages of his constituents, Elliott switched his position on solar, voting in favor of double net meter cap on solar and making solar a more desirable option for residents across the state.