Climate Messages That Work: We Did the Polling so You Don’t Have To

Climate Messages That Work: We Did the Polling so You Don’t Have To

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Jul. 14 10:00 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Jul. 14 11:15 AM (Eastern)

We all know the right messages to get the environmental activist base on board with taking action on climate change. Now, what are the most compelling ways to talk to a broader audience to engage them in the fight for a just transition to a clean energy future? NextGen Climate has worked with pollsters, researchers and allied organizations to identify the best messages that work for diverse audiences. By talking about a just transition to a clean energy future, we know we can broaden the intersectionality of the climate movement. Come hear from message experts and organizers from the field as they discuss how we can broaden our movement through better messaging and engagement.


Andrea Purse


Andrea Purse is the Vice President of Communications at NextGen Climate, a national advocacy organization that acts politically to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for every American. Before joining NextGen Climate, Andrea was the Director of Broadcast Media for the Obama Administration. She’s also worked at the Center for American Progress, on presidential campaigns and on Capitol Hill.

Andrea lives in the Bay Area with her husband Jimi and their two wonderful kids.


Celinda Lake


Celinda Lake was one of two main pollsters for the Biden campaign, is the only Democratic pollster to play a major role in defeating two incumbent presidents, and is a prominent pollster and political strategist for progressives. Celinda currently serves as President of Lake Research Partners. Lake’s polling and strategic advice has helped candidates such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Jon Tester, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and former Governor Bob Wise to groundbreaking wins, and her expertise guided former Senator Mark Begich to victory, making him the first Senate candidate in Alaska to oust an incumbent in 50 years. Celinda has focused especially on women’s concerns and women candidates, including Speaker Pelosi, former Governor Janet Napolitano, Senator Debbie Stabenow, former Senator Barbara Mikulski, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, former Mayor Annise Parker, and over a dozen women in the House and Senate. Celinda worked on behalf of the largest independent expenditure to take back the House in 2006 and has been a key player in campaigns launched by progressive groups such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, NRDC, ecoAmerica, Planned Parenthood, Vote Vets, HRC, and EMILY’s List. Lake co-authored the book What Women Really Want with Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway. Celinda works with innovative messaging projects that help redefine language on the economy, inequality, big money in politics, climate change, public schools, teachers, criminal justice reform, and has worked in depth on the Race Class Narrative work with Anat Shenker-Osorio.

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Ben Wessel


Ben Wessel is the Millennial Vote Director at NextGen Climate, based in San Francisco. In this role, Ben works to elect candidates who support strong clean energy and climate policies, with a focus on mobilizing the voters who care most the issue: young people. In May, Ben was named one of the “16 Young Americans Shaping the 2016 Election” by Rolling Stone magazine. Before joining NextGen Climate in 2014, Ben worked for Cory Booker’s campaign for US Senate in New Jersey, as the Political Campaigns Manager for Action, and as the Youth Vote Director for President Obama’s reelection campaign in New Hampshire. A native of the District of Columbia, when he’s not working you can find him rooting for the Washington football team.

Other sessions: The Past Year in Digital Testing: Where We've Come From and Where to Go in 2016, Pictures in Motion: A Showcase of Movies for the Movement

David Winkler


Since 2007, he has led hundreds of research efforts to meet the diverse needs of PNA’s clients and subscribers. Mr. Winkler has extensive expertise turning research into action with a specialization in voter engagement, emerging technology and the changing demographics of American political and civic culture. Previously, he served in a variety of roles for issue advocacy organizations, political campaigns, and ballot measures. He is a contributing author to the book “How the West was Warmed.”

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