Pittsburgh Puppet Looms Large
Photo by Randy Francisco
Members of the Pittsburgh, Pa., Sierra Club have finished work on a giant puppet, above, that they plan to cast in a starring role at tabling events and other happenings and rallies around town. The larger-than-life perspiring planet made its debut on October 5 at the Alternative Transportation Festival, and continues the fun--and effective--Sierra Club tradition of costumed crusaders as animated advocates. Pictured above, left to right, are Judy Flaherty, Mike Lamark, Stephanie Simmons, Barbara Grover, Kathleen Smith (the puppet), Ben Thomas, Dar Thomas, Susanna Crews, Cheryl Sedlock, Kerri LaCharite, Anne DeFazio, and kneeling in front, puppet-making mentor Cheryl Capezzuti.
As befits a group representing the Steel City area, the Club's Allegheny Group recently held a "mixer" with the United Steelworkers (USW), where 50 people heard about the Blue-Green Alliance from Club volunteer Peter Wray and the USW's Mike Wright. Club organizers also did a power point presentation geared toward steelworkers for County Councilman John DeFazio, who also serves as director of the USW in Pennsylvania, prompting the councilman to ask that it be presented again at two October workshops in his district. A former steelworker and professional wrestler who went by the moniker "Jumpin Johnny," DeFazio was elected president of his union local at age 29, and went on to become the International Staff Representative for the USW of America seven years later. Learn more about the Sierra Club's partnership work with labor unions.