HeadCount Gets A White House Invite

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Last week, while on the way to see Phish in Philadelphia, I got an unexpected email from…the White House.

We would like to invite you to join us for a Clean Energy Economy Forum to discuss the important role young leaders have in creating and sharing this opportunity. The event will bring together emerging leaders from non-profits, businesses, and community groups along with experts from federal agencies, members of the Cabinet, and White House officials to engage in a dialogue.

So, I guess some people at the White House heard that nearly 75% of the people we registered voted in the last election. They also probably realize that if they want to get popular support behind initiatives like climate change, the music community is a good place to start.

A few more emails started coming in. The next was from a key environmental group, the Energy Action Coalition, inviting me to a brainstorming and strategy session of youth-oriented leaders attending the White House meeting, which is Wednesday afternoon.

It’s no coincidence that this is all happening now. The U.N. Climate Change Summit is in Copenhagen next week and President Obama has vowed to go there and work toward an international agreement. If he succeeds, and Congress backs him up, we will take the most important steps in history toward averting a climate crises. If he fails, or can’t win popular support at home, many scientists say we’re about to reach the point of no return.

You may say, “HeadCount and climate change. Huh?” Well, actually we’ve been working behind the scenes with JamBase and artists like Dave Matthews Band and Pearl Jam to launch an initiative called “Music for Action” that will encourage fans to speak out on climate change. We also devote a page of our website to Sustainability and Climate Change – one of six issues we’ve tackled in 2009.

It’s exciting to know that people of influence recognize the impact HeadCount and the music community can have on the issues facing our country. We are still strictly nonpartisan and our message remains the same: “Make Your Voice Heard.” What’s changed is that our message is now pertinent 365 days a year, not just on Election Day.

We’re also fostering discussion about health care in the music community, through a poll and an upcoming series of articles on this blog.

We have big plans for the midterm elections next year, directly tying our Get Out the Vote effort to the key issues we’ve been working on.

I will report back from the White House meeting and let you know about our next key steps as an organization. Thank you for all your support, this year and in years past. If you have any thoughts or insights that might be helpful in preparing for the White House meeting, feel free to pass them along. I can be reached at [email protected]

The meeting will be webcast here at 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 2, if you want to check it out.