Campaign For Communities History
The first Earth Day in 1970 was instrumental in mobilizing public support in towns across the country for the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and other key environmental laws. In the early years of the campaign, Earth Day Network and its partners, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Voter Fund, Project Vote, the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), and other community-based organizations created and implemented a plan to educate and mobilize voters around community development and environmental issues, targeting under-represented communities in the political process and experiencing a deteriorating urban infrastructure.
In these last campaigns, Earth Day Network and its partners successfully registered close to 500,000 voters and mobilized nearly one million African Americans, Latinos, low-income Americans and young voters to go to the polls on Election Day.
To learn more about the voter registration campaign, please visit the Voter Registration page.
Earth Day Network believes that working on environmental issues at the community or regional level with non-environmentalists, especially students and low-income community members, builds environmental expertise and promotes an affinity for activism that, over time, will translate into national and international environmental action. To that end, EDN assists communities of color and collegestudents to create and sustain projects that build confidence and solve local issues. As part of a month-long effort to building community competency in environmental organizing, Earth Day Network supported more than 50 low-income urban community events that focused on issues ranging from air and water quality testing to park cleanups to voter registration drives. We also helped to “green” low income urban K-12 schools—projects that included bringing parents, community activists, and local businesses together to discuss urban greening issues.
Global Day of Conversation events have emphasized various environmental issues, ranging from energy efficiency to transportation and environmental education. These discussions have often served as a foundation in the creation and development of innovative sustainability strategies.
In April 2011, Earth Day Network, Earth Day Network’s Global Day of Conversation campaign successfully convened close to a thousand local leaders and elected officials in more than 45 U.S. States and 14 countries worldwide.