“Will you pledge not to take money from the fossil fuel industry for your campaign?”

“What are concrete steps that we can count on your administration to do, while your in office, to move Colorado to a just 100% renewable energy economy by 2035?”

“If elected, what specific mechanisms will you utilize as Governor to ensure that Colorado does its part to achieve emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement in keeping the majority of fossil fuels safely underground?”

These are just a few of the questions the climate organizers asked seven candidates running for Governor here in Colorado last Sunday at the community-hosted statewide candidate forum.

In coordination with over 70 house parties kicking off the Fossil Free Resolutions Campaign, a coalition of climate, immigration and electoral organizations came together to grill the 2018 Gubernatorial candidates on the issues that matter most.

The event took place last Sunday the 12th in a cathedral on the campus of a Denver community college. Slices of warm blue, gold and green light cut through the hall packed with about 300 people. On the stage were seven candidates running for the State’s highest office — 5 Democrats, 1 Republican, and 1 Independent.  

The goal of the forum was to get the candidates on the record and elevate the standard for what real climate leadership looks like: a Fossil Free world with no new fossil fuel projects and 100% renewable energy for all. We launched a tool for the movement to engage with candidates up and down the midterm ballot: the Colorado People’s Climate Justice Platform.

The platform is a tool for grassroots groups to organize under our shared vision — further connecting social justice and climate justice. Coloradans will use this platform to push candidates towards our vision of a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy for all. We will work to urge every candidate in every race: stand with the people working for this vision and join the growing movement for climate justice.

Here in Colorado, the battle between the people and the industry for our democracy is red hot, and the movement in Colorado to push candidates towards bold climate justice policies is just getting warmed up. The stakes are high: with major elections up for grabs and inappropriately influential oil and gas companies pouring millions into each race. We will continue to grow the coalition of grassroots groups endorsing the Colorado People’s Platform, and show candidates at all levels of government that the people want a Fossil Free world.

People across America are getting to work to build a world that puts people and the planet we depend on first. If we take back local power and demand this type of bold and meaningful change, we can create an upswell of support for our shared vision of the world: one free from fossil fuels with 100% renewable energy for all. Check out the recording of the forum and hear some pretty good answers from our sharp questions.