For-profit

Down Ballot Climate Partners LLC

Location:

California

Co-Founders:

Matt Ewing and Eric Heitz

Down Ballot Climate Partners LLC is a left-of-center consulting firm and for-profit political advocacy organization that directs funding from left-of-center organizations and funders to candidates in local elections to advance left-of-center environmental policies. The group was founded in 2021 in California by Matt Ewing and Eric Heitz, who have both held various roles at left-of-center advocacy groups, and appeared to begin working on directing funds to local elections ahead of the 2022 elections. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Background

Down Ballot Climate Partners was formed in June 2021 according to the LinkedIn profiles of the company’s co-founders and filed paperwork to register as a limited liability company in the state of California in July 2021. The company’s stated purpose is to research competitive local election that have a potential to shift local environmental policy, and then make recommendations to clients of the firm, which are described as “organizations and donors.” [5]

The company has a stated goal of electing “climate champions” at the local level and in particular seeks to facilitate investment in local races with “outsized” impact to environmental policy and that afford the opportunity to enact left-of-center policies in local governments throughout the country. The firm calls for a “radical retooling” of the American energy system and quotes Biden administration Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who stated the need to “deploy, deploy, deploy” in response to the left-of-center environmental agenda. [6]

Activities

Down Ballot Climate Partners focuses on facilitating funding from left-of-center funders and organizations to local-level elections in order to install officials supportive of left-of-center environment and energy policies. The firm has identified county supervisor races across the Midwest, which could determine approval of new wind-reliant and solar energy projects. The firm has also expressed an interest in funding Port Commissioner races in the Texas Gulf Coast to elect candidates that oppose the building of oil-reliant and other traditional energy infrastructure. [7]

As of July 2022, the firm reported it had engaged in 35 local elections, specifically naming the mayoral race in Long Beach, California and county supervisor elections in Pulaski County, Indiana as places where the firm has already directed funding. The firm stated a goal of working on 80 to 100 races in 2022. [8]

Structure and People

Down Ballot Climate Partners describes itself as an early-stage start-up as of mid-2022 and posted a job listing in July 2022 looking for an elections analyst to research races that the firm may target. The Election Analyst role is described as what would be the fifth employee of the firm. [9]

The co-founders of the firm are Matt Ewing and Eric Heitz. Ewing is the former managing director of Swing Left, a Democratic Party-aligned fundraising and voter mobilization PAC. He has also worked for groups including Rewiring America, SolarCity, New Media Ventures, the New Organizing Institute (NOI), and MoveOn.org. [10] Heitz is a co-founder of the left-of-center Energy Foundation and Energy Action Fund and worked as the CEO of the Energy Foundation until 2019. [11] [12]

Another employee of the firm is Cliff Walker, the political advisor to the firm who previously was the deputy executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. [13]

The chief of staff of the firm is Samantha Russo, who joined the company in early 2022 and previously was a programs manager for Amazon. [14]

References

  1. “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  2. “Down Ballot Climate Partners LLC.” Open Corporates. Accessed October 7, 2021. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_ca/202119510456 ^
  3. “Matt Ewing.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattewing/details/experience/ ^
  4. “Eric Heitz.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericheitztap58/ ^
  5. “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  6. “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  7.  “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  8.  “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  9. “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  10. “Matt Ewing.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattewing/details/experience/ ^
  11. “Eric Heitz.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericheitztap58/ ^
  12. “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  13. “Elections Analyst: Down Ballot Climate Partners.” Progressive Data Jobs. July 12, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.progressivedatajobs.org/job-posting/elections-analyst/#:~:text=Down%20Ballot%20Climate%20Partners%2C%20LLC,climate%20and%20environmental%20justice%20impacts ^
  14. “Samantha Russo.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/samantha-russos/ ^
  See an error? Let us know!