Be a Clean Water Voter - Texas Endorsements 2022

Elections matter – that is something that Clean Water Action has known for a long time. Our members expect many things from us, but one of our most important responsibilities is to recommend candidates for office that our members and others who care about can support on Election Day.

It isn’t easy to be a Clean Water Action Endorsed Candidate.  You have to have a strong record of fighting for environmental issues, you have to be willing to champion the environmental issues that matter and you have to run a strong grassroots campaign. In short, you have be GREAT. 

We look at where candidates stand on the key environmental issues that we work on in Texas – clean energy, protecting pristine streams and all waters, climate change, environmental justice, reducing toxic chemicals, improving drinking water, and protecting natural habitats… just to name a few. 

We believe that the candidates listed below are all deserving of our endorsement and the name of Clean Water Champion. We encourage you to vote for them and support them in any way you can.

Our 2022 Texas Clean Water Endorsed Candidates:

Governor: Beto O’Rourke
Beto earned an A+ environmental voting record as a U.S. Congressman and is committed to protecting water and air quality by appointing commissioners to state agencies who put public health above the interests of corporate polluters. His opponent Greg Abbott has a long, dismal record on the environment, voting rights, and more.

Railroad Commissioner: Luke Warford
Warford will work to ensure Texas is prepared for the next winter storm by establishing a clear weatherization standard and identifying critical gas producers. He will also enforce existing rules in order to prevent huge amounts of Texas’ natural gas resources from being wasted through flaring and venting along with minimizing those dangerous climate change exacerbating emissions.

Land Commissioner: Jay Kleberg
Jay Kleberg is a former Associate Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation with the experience and vision the General Land Office Commissioner needs. He has pledged to protect coastal communities, bays and estuaries from the impacts of climate change, add renewables to the GLO’s energy portfolio, and compel the oil industry to reduce methane emissions and recycle water in its operations on state lands.

US Congress

Congressional District 15: Michelle Vallejo
Candidate Vallejo pledges to fight for a federal jobs guarantee program that would create millions of good-paying union jobs to reverse the trends of climate change and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. She intends to declare climate change a national emergency and transition to renewable energy and a decarbonized economy, including investments in electric public transit and infrastructure and jobs, fully funding and strengthening the EPA, and protecting frontline communities and marginalized groups harmed by polluting practices.

Congressional District: 32: Colin Allred
Since taking office in 2019, representing a district in which he was born and raised, Colin Allred has achieved a lifetime environmental voting score of 97% rated by the League of Conservation Voters. He achieved a 100% score for 2021 environmental issues. Congressman Allred worked to protect voting rights and worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He pledges to work toward using green stormwater infrastructure to improve neighborhood greenspace, air quality, reduce flooding, and increase resilience to climate change.

Congressional District 35: Greg Casar
Candidate Greg Casar will work to transition to non-fossil fuel mass transit for hundreds of thousands of people, along with creating more options to safely walk and bike while providing funding for anti-displacement programs. He will advocate for Green jobs programs to create a true pipeline of training for working people into union jobs weatherizing homes, installing solar, building rail, and improving our environment. Casar is committed to reducing sprawl, reducing highway construction, and increasing watershed protection rules and requirements to address the impacts of flooding.

Texas State House

House District 45:  Erin Zwiener
Rep. Zwiener is a progressive champion and Founder and Chair of the Climate, Environment, and Energy Caucus in the Texas House of Representatives. She earned an A+ for her environmental votes in the Texas Legislature and is committed to setting ambitious state targets for renewable energy like wind and solar that increase over time.

House District 47:  Vikki Goodwin
Rep. Goodwin earned an A+ for her environmental votes in the Texas Legislature and champions legislation to impose a tax on flared or vented gas when it is not sold at market or used onsite, and legislation to establish an Office of Environmental Justice within the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to ensure consideration is given to minority communities when issuing permits.

House District 49: Gina Hinojosa
Rep. Hinojosa earned an A+ for her environmental votes in the Texas Legislature, and champions real action to combat climate change. She recognizes that Texas is the national leader in greenhouse gas emissions and understands that investments in renewable energy and efficiency will benefit the Texas economy as well as protect the environment and public health.

House District 50: James Talarico
Rep. Talarico also earned an A+ for his environmental votes in the Texas Legislature. He champions legislation to fight climate change by establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, energy efficiency standards, and a resiliency plan with a framework for local involvement. He is also a strong proponent of removing lead from public school water systems to protect our children’s health.

House District 100: Venton Jones
Venton Jones is a lifelong resident of House District 100. He pledges to lead on issues including water conservation, increasing renewable energy production, protecting pristine streams and other waters from wastewater discharges, and reducing the flaring of harmful methane from TX oil and gas drilling sites. Venton has been a tireless advocate working to improve healthcare access, fighting for marginalized communities and middle-class families, and protecting voting rights.

House District 114: John Bryant
John Bryant represented his Texas district in Austin for nine years and then in DC in US Congress for 14 years. He maintained a high lifetime score on environmental votes throughout his career and we expect that John will continue that leadership. He will focus on strengthening the Texas electricity grid, holding electric and gas utilities accountable for unlimited price increases during power grid failures, and increasing renewable energy generation.

House District 136: John Bucy
Rep. Bucy too earned an A+ for his environmental votes in the Texas Legislature. He calls for implementation of water and energy conservation policies, recycling and composting programs, and reduction of single-use plastics in the waste stream. 

City of Austin

Mayor: Kirk Watson
Kirk Watson has a track record of success and the leadership qualities Austin needs. As mayor, he negotiated an agreement with the Lower Colorado River Authority to secure Austin's long-term water supply with strong incentives to conserve. He also led the effort in the Texas Senate to pass legislation that no longer allows homeowners associations to ban drought-tolerant landscapes or xeriscapes.             

City Council District 3: Jose Elias     

Elías has pledged to fight so that working families have an affordable place to live and the resources they need to prosper in Austin. He will work for environmental equity so that all communities have clean air and water, and to improve availability of safe & affordable housing through rehabilitation, new construction, tax exemption, and expanded opportunities for homeownership.     

City Council District 5: Ken Craig
Ken has decades of experience working for the environment and quality of life as a neighborhood leader and policy aide for outgoing Council Member Ann Kitchen. He will work to guarantee a reliable water supply and keep water affordable through stronger incentives for water reuse, rainwater harvesting and more. He will also work to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by promoting rooftop solar, fleet electrification, and energy efficiency.

City Council District 8: Paige Ellis
Before serving on the city council, Ellis worked for an environmental consulting firm to ensure that transportation and housing projects complied with the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. As council member, she sponsored voter-approved bonds to fund Safe Routes to School and build sidewalks, urban trails, and bike lanes for all ages and abilities. She also supports increased housing options along major streets served by transit but less intense development where it can put the Edwards Aquifer, Barton Springs, and our watersheds at risk.              

City Council District 9: Linda Guerrero
Linda is a lifelong resident of District 9 with decades of experience serving on the Environmental Commission (Chair), Austin Parks Board (Chair), I-35 Coalition (Co-Chair) and more.  She will work to build resilience to climate change by making new large-scale developments more water efficient and by improving protections against wildfire, and she will work to create permanent funding for parks with contributions from festivals that use them and ensure that city departments collaborate to manage parks in a way that preserves natural areas. 

Judge: Lina Hidalgo
As current Harris County Judge, Lina Hidalgo has supported the County’s establishment of the Office of Sustainability to combat the underlying causes and disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities, expand the use of clean energy, improve flood resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Going forward, her commitments will include reaching 100% renewable energy for Harris County facilities, promoting sustainability through green infrastructure, and taking aim at lifting up “worst first” communities for climate & environmental disaster prevention, preparedness, and response.

Precinct 2: Adrian Garcia
As current Commissioner of Precinct 2, Adrian Garcia has focused on working to hold chemical companies more accountable and to protect the public from potentially deadly leaks from chemical plants and is a champion for centering members of environmental justice community members who are already overburdened by pollution sources. His focus going forward will include working to put the county on a path to using 100-percent renewable energy for county facilities by 2024, reducing pollution, and making sure we have clean air and safe drinking water.

Precinct 4: Lesley Briones
Challenger Leslie Briones for Harris County Commission in Precinct 4 pledges to work for sustainable flood mitigation, including protecting the Katy Prairie and broadly restoring nature-based infrastructure, creating more dual-use parks with small neighborhood detention ponds. In addition to speeding up development of a Harris County Climate Action Plan, she would commit to continue and expand upon Harris County’s efforts to evaluate decisions through an equitable lens, thereby more meaningfully incorporating environmental justice, resiliency, and sustainability as factors when evaluating bids for county contracts and expanding county infrastructure.

Hays County Commissioners Court

Precinct 4: Susan Cook
Cook is a small business owner and long-time resident of Hays County. She champions incentivizing rainwater harvesting in new and existing construction to conserve water and keep bills under control, stopping the discharge of sewage effluent into creeks and rivers, and using it instead for irrigation and other non-potable needs. Hays favors protecting the Hill Country and its residents by fixing our most congested, dangerous roads first and stop building expensive new roads that serve developers and unmanaged growth.

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