Irvine Climate Advocates Release Voter Guide Highlighting Candidate Views on Climate and Candidate Viability

An Irvine Climate Voter Guide, a 10-page report with Irvine City Council and Mayoral Candidates’ views on climate issues facing the city, has been released by a group of Irvine volunteers focused on climate in the November 2020 election.

The guide features candidates’ answers to seven questions designed to evaluate their sense of urgency on climate and their position on climate-related issues within the city’s control. Questions include:

  • Do you support implementation of a Climate Action Plan for Irvine with legally binding and enforceable strategies, metrics and programs without delay? (A Climate Action Plan is a document that specifies how a city or county will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving climate change.)
  • Do you support the rapid deployment of electric vehicle charging facilities and other clean energy programs for the city?

“Cities can do a lot about climate change, but it can be difficult to figure out where local candidates stand on climate issues. That’s why we created the guide,” explained UC Irvine Professor Kathleen Treseder, one of the volunteers who worked on the guide.

The guide also includes an analysis of candidate viability based on the last 20 years of Irvine electoral history. Based on that analysis, the council candidates who are capable of winning this election are Larry Agran, Mike Carroll, Lauren Johnson-Norris, Tammy Kim, Carrie O’Malley and John Park. In the mayor’s race, Katherine Daigle, Farrah Khan, and Christina Shea meet the criteria to win.

The candidate viability information may be particularly important during this election because 14 candidates are vying for two or three city council seats.  In 2018, when 12 candidates ran for Irvine City Council, 70.4% of votes were cast for losing candidates – the highest percentage of losing votes cast in at least the last 20 years.

The guide also includes candidate explanations of their answers, helping further clarify their climate views.

Climate issues are expected to play a role in this election as voters across the political spectrum experience the effects of climate change. In August, the National Review reported on a study from the American Conservative Coalition which found that climate change is an important issue for 82 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 35, including 77 percent of those who describe themselves “right-leaning.” 60 percent of respondents indicated that climate change “will impact who they vote for in 2020.”