May 15th Primary

Oregon - City Commissioner of Portland - Position 2 (lost)

“From beating back Nestlé’s plan to bottle public water in the Gorge, to organizing against fossil fuel extraction and fighting Monsanto’s toxic agricultural practices, I know what it takes to bring Oregonians together to fight for each other.”

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Oregon - State Senate - 24th District (lost)

“Human life will have enough trouble dealing with the climate change we have already locked in with our past carbon emissions. It is time to stop those emissions, and work to reverse the trend.”

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Idaho Governor (lost)

“As an organic farmer, I want health and wellness. As an attorney I want justice, fairness and reconciliation. As a person of faith and family, I want a good future for generations to come.”

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Oregon - City Commissioner of Portland - Position 3 (won)

“We have a responsibility to ensure that low-income communities and communities of color are leading our efforts to address climate change and to create healthy communities.”

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North Carolina Congressional District 5 (won)

“It's time for a better Food and Farm Bill that provides more Americans with healthy, locally grown food; that promotes sustainable farming practices; that reduces our impact on the environment; and that builds an economy around local farmers--not massive, corporations.”

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Oregon - East Lane County Commissioner (lost)

[Clean Energy Jobs Bill]  dollars distributed to Lane County’s forestry, range, coastal and agricultural lands will give us a tremendous opportunity to lead the state with carbon sequestration efforts and reducing the effects of greenhouse gases.”

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Oregon Congressional District 2 (won)

People like Scott Pruitt should be nowhere near environmental policy, as it is clear that their priorities lie in lining the pockets of polluters versus protecting our environment and citizenry from the effects of pollution.

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May 8th Primary

North Carolina Congressional District 4 (lost)

“As a member of Congress, I will work to eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides that harm farmworkers and surrounding farming communities.”

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Indiana Congressional District 7 (lost)

“Everyone who can work, should work. But in today’s America there aren’t enough living wage jobs to go around. Investing in our people and our infrastructure, our environment and our food supply, we can find a balance between profit and quality of life not just for the lucky few but for everyone in our great nation.”

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Ohio Governor (lost)

Regenerative agricultural practices will mean that farmers can reduce expenditures on agricultural input, help boost soil health, reduce exposure to chemicals, limit damaging nutrient runoff into the lake, improving our ability to provide clean drinking water.”

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North Carolina Congressional District 5 (lost)

“Family farms are an integral part of our communities and economy. They are also stalwart defenders of our land and water.”

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Ohio House District 12 (lost)

Yvonka’s top three campaign priorities are universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, and to correct the environmental racism that disproportionately exposes African American communities to air that’s not safe to breathe, water that’s not safe to drink and toxins like lead.

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Orange County Board of County Commissioners – At-Large – North Carolina (won)

Orange County has the most diverse local food production in the state, and the second highest in sales. But rising land values and taxes, impacts from surrounding growth, and other external pressures are steady threats.”

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Senate – West Virginia (lost)

"Explosions, leaks, and five-day chemical fires have filled our air with toxins. What good are those jobs if you and your family are sick from it?"

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Richard L. Watkins

North Carolina Congressional District 4
Primary May 8

In response to Science Debate’s candidate questionnaire, which asked, “How would you manage American agriculture so it provides healthy affordable food grown in a just and sustainable way?”

Richard said:

North Carolina is a state whose proud roots are in agriculture so I support farms and all those who provide food for my state. I support the farmworker and I support the communities and families who support farmworkers. As an advocate for technology and the environment, I am also a proponent of increased farming efficiency and sustainable farming practices. As a member of Congress, I will work to:

  1. Eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides that harm farmworkers and surrounding farming communities.
  2. Support investments into the identification and development of alternatives that will replace the specific pesticides and herbicides that are dangerous to farming communities.
  3. Continue developing sustainable farming technologies
  4. Support new farming approaches such as (but not limited to) vertical farming
  5. Address the decline of the honeybee population as a threat to food security and the farmer and communities that supply our food

Please support Richard by volunteering or contributing to his campaign.



Jenny Marshall

North Carolina Congressional District 5
Primary May 8

Jenny’s plan for “Farms and Rural North Carolina” includes:

  • Support farm-to-school programs by encouraging schools to buy local.
  • Expand support for small and medium farms.
  • Expand services for new or underserved farmers.
  • Enlist farmers as partners in our efforts to conserve our bountiful natural resources.
  • ​​​Support agricultural programs in k-12 schools and post secondary education institutions.

Improving the lives of rural North Carolinians is a top priority for Jenny.  

“Family farms are an integral part of our communities and economy,” writes Jenny on her website. “They are also stalwart defenders of our land and water.”  

Please support Jenny by volunteering and donating to her campaign. 


Sally Greene

Orange County Board of County Commissioners – At-Large – North Carolina
Primary May 8

Sally is a lawyer and former three-term Chapel Hill Town Council member. As a council member, she served on the Orange County Food Council. She remains actively involved and is an expert in local food and farm policy.

Sally’s economic platform calls for “stronger support for our home-grown agricultural industry”:

Thanks to concerted County efforts, direct-to-consumer sale of farm produce has evolved from $26,000 in 1997 to $1.4 million in 2012–an 812 percent increase–and is still growing. Orange County has the most diverse local food production in the state, and the second highest in sales. But rising land values and taxes, impacts from surrounding growth, and other external pressures are steady threats.

To “sustain the economic health of our farmers,” Sally is calling on the County to “increase its investment in resources to enable start-up food businesses to get to the next level while remaining in the County” and “offer training in sustainable farming techniques.”

In her environmental platform, Sally supports the County’s watershed protection zoning. She says, “All County residents benefit from our farms and natural areas,” and calls for “preserving farmland and stream corridors, protecting our water supply and air quality, and allowing for natural areas and wildlife habitat.”

As an example of how to “support the environment by supporting prosperity,” Sally cites regenerative farming community Hart’s Mill Ecovillage and Farm. One of the things she likes about it is that, “It will be built as on only a fraction of the 112-acre property, preserving fields, forests, wetlands, a spring-fed pond, and a creek that flows into the Eno.”

Please support Sally by getting involved or donating.


Dennis Kucinich

Ohio Governor

During his eight terms in Congress, Dennis stood up for organic agriculture, railed against “the corruption of the political process by Monsanto," and introduced the first federal bills to safety-test, label and regulate genetically modified organisms.

With his wife, Elizabeth Kucinich, a board member of the Rodale Institute and producer of the films “GMO OMG” and “Organic Rising,” Dennis delivered the keynote address at Occupy the World Food Prize.

Now, in his campaign for governor, with Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples as his running mate, Dennis is running on a regenerative agriculture platform which states:

Regenerative agriculture is the path to carbon sequestration and restoration of our global climate. Regenerative agricultural practices will mean that farmers can reduce expenditures on agricultural input, help boost soil health, reduce exposure to chemicals, limit damaging nutrient runoff into the lake, improving our ability to provide clean drinking water. Ohio’s farmers will be compensated for being on the front lines of climate mitigation. We will also explore removing barriers to growing industrial hemp. Prosperous farmers mean: Power to We the People.

The latest polls show Dennis tied for first place in the Democratic Primary, which takes place May 8.

Dennis’s campaign tour included a 100-mile trek along Lake Erie’s coast with clean water champion Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

In a speech he gave in Toledo (watch on Facebook), he proposed paying “carbon farmers” to use regenerative agriculture techniques like cover cropping to draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it as carbon in the soil.

“Farmers are great environmental stewards,” Dennis said. “As they participate in this, we’ll be able to substantially reduce atmospheric carbon content because they’re drawing carbon down from the atmosphere. This is a significant shift that I’m advocating in agricultural policy that will enable farmers to make more money, get out of the chemicalization of agriculture, … and will help to avert the kind of crisis that we’ve seen in recent years with respect to Lake Erie water.”

“I intend to help farmers … by incentivizing regenerative agricultural practices,” he said in a speech in Cleveland (watch on Facebook). “Not simply changing the way they farm by moving away from the chemicals, but in helping farmers improve the soil nutrient content, helping them use agricultural practices which can improve soil carbon content.”

“It has an effect on global climate change,” Dennis explained in Sandusky, appearing on “Between the Lines Live,” the Sandusky Register’s public affairs program, “because … our problem is that we have excessive levels of atmospheric carbon. … Using the simple process of photosynthesis, the atmospheric carbon is drawn down into the plant, into the roots, increasing soil carbon content. It’s healthier for the external environment. It’s healthier for the internal environment of the plant and the soil. … The soil then has more holding power. You don’t have as much agricultural runoff.”

Please support Dennis. Donate here. Or sign up here to volunteer.


Yvonka Hall

Ohio House District 12

Yvonka is the executive director of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition, a community wellness organization dedicated achieving health parity for African Americans. Previously, she served as Director of the Cleveland Office of Minority Health and the Northeast Ohio Director of Cultural Health Initiatives for the American Heart Association.

Yvonka lost both her mother and best friend to domestic violence.  Her youngest brother was murdered at age 15, while on his way home from school. In response to these tragedies, she made a childhood promise that she would use her life to help others.

Under Yvonka’s leadership, NEOBHC has launched more than a dozen ongoing wellness programs to educate and empower community members to address a wide range of public health problems, including infant mortality, domestic violence, mental illness and diet-related disease.

Each year, NEOBHC hosts The State of Disparities in the African American Community Conference. This year, the theme of the conference will be, “The Politics of Policies and the Impact on Health.”

Yvonka co-hosts NEOBHC’s Reclaiming Our Health radio program “exploring the impact of housing, employment, education and health on the overall wellness of the African American community.”

Whether it’s protecting children from lead poisoning, or calling for justice for victims of police violence, Yvonka is a passionate activist who fights tirelessly to improve the lives and health of her neighbors and community.

Yvonka’s top three campaign priorities are universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, and to correct the environmental racism that disproportionately exposes African American communities to air that’s not safe to breathe, water that’s not safe to drink and toxins like lead.

Please support Yvonka. Donate here or get involved


Paula Jean Swearengin

Paula’s platform, includes an “Energy Diversity Creates Jobs” plank where she advocates for, among other things, growing industrial hemp to remediate mountaintop removal sites. (Yes, this can be done and it’s a great use of regenerative agriculture.)

Her “Clean Air and Water for All” plank states:

West Virginia rivers and streams are constantly threatened by drainage, dumping, spills, and run-off from all of the industries who get tax and regulation breaks in the name of jobs. Explosions, leaks, and five-day chemical fires have filled our air with toxins. What good are those jobs if you and your family are sick from it? Even worse, most of the companies guilty of these abuses are often headquartered out-of-state and are reporting record profits! CEOs are raking in millions in salaries and bonuses at the expense of our health. Clean air and water should always be part of the cost of doing business.

We know what Paula’s talking about! One of West Virginia’s worst polluters is DuPont. (We recently wrote about how DuPont released nearly 2.5 million pounds of a Teflon toxin known as C8 (Perfluorooctanoic—PFOA—acid) from its Washington Works factory in Parkersburg, West Virginia, into the Ohio River Valley between 1948 and 2003.)

Please support Paula by volunteering or contributing to her campaign.