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04/21/2009

YOU Make It Happen!

Thousands Rally Against Drilling in Atlantic City, New Orleans, Anchorage, and San Francisco

Sierra Club volunteers and staff organized to get thousands in attendance at the four hearings around the country hosted by the Department of the Interior and Secretary Ken Salazar. See more in Scrapbook. Members of the audience were selected at random to comment, but it did not go unnoticed that Sierra Club leaders -- Matt Kirby, Jill Mastratodaro, Trish Rolfe, and I -- testified, respectively, at the Atlantic City, New Orleans, Anchorage, and San Francisco hearings in favor of investing in renewable energy and against drilling for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf. In San Francisco, Vicky Hoover and Kristina Johnson worked closely with Not The Answer Coalition partners -- environmental organizations, community groups, and labor -- to get people to the hearing and a noon rally on April 16.

Below are images from San Francisco and New Orleans and a video summary of the San Francisco hearing.

No-drill-ca 

Ocs-newolreans

Every Day is Earth Day (or Happy Birthday, John Muir!)

Earth Day, established on April 22, 1970, to promote environmental awareness and stewardship, is the only event celebrated simultaneously around the globe by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities. It's also a time that many of the world’s eco-heroes are recognized. Last evening, the 2009 Goldman Prize was awarded to seven grassroots activists who tackled some of the most pressing environmental issues of the day -- helping to educate and motivate local communities to get involved in the effort to protect the natural environment around them and to stand up for their rights. Here are the winners.

Goldman

Happy Birthday, John Muir (1838- 1914)! The Extra Mile is a relatively new national monument that recognizes the great founders of volunteer movements that have helped shape America. This year, John Muir will be inducted into The Extra Mile Pathway. Ron Henry, Julie Locascio, and Steven Bruckner, leaders from the Maryland, D.C., and Virginia chapters, respectively, will take part in the ceremony to unveil the Bronze Medallion that will then find a permanent home in the walking pathway on the mall.

Eco-Heroes

I was in southern California visiting family for a few days last week and was able to steal a few hours to visit with Angeles leaders. I had been thinking I might hook up with one of their Earth Day activities, but ended up at a chapter executive committee meeting which turned out to be the perfect venue. The brief introductions were such a poignant reminder of how much our leaders give -- how many wear multiple hats, filling in where needed even if it is a task that is near the bottom of everyone’s list. It was just wonderful to greet old friends, make some new, and put faces to names (or voices) that I have known for years. Thanks to Darrell Clarke and his team for the reception and warm welcome!

Who are your local Eco-Heroes? Be sure to recognize them here, during your chapter’s annual awards, or by nominating someone for a national award. Deadline for national awards is June 1.

Sierra Club Board Names Michael Dorsey to Fill Board Vacancy

Michael Dorsey, a professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth, and a former board director (1997-2003) has been appointed by the board to fill the vacancy created by Lisa Rentrom’s resignation in February. Many of you know or are familiar with Michael from his prior service on the Board and subsequent involvement with the Club's International Committee. Michael’s appointment is for the balance of term, which is about 13 months (until May 2010). Welcome aboard, Michael!

Congratulations to Newly Elected Directors

The Club's election results were announced today and three new directors, Lane Boldman of Kentucky, Dave Scott of Ohio, and Chris Warshaw of California, were elected, and two incumbents, Robin Mann of Pennsylvania, and Rafael Reyes of California, were re-elected.

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