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Scrapbook: Meet New Club President Robin Mann (Video)

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Sierra Club Scrapbook

May 21, 2010

Meet New Club President Robin Mann (Video)

Robin Mann grew up outside Wilmington, Delaware, near a pond and stream where the springtime nights were alive with spring peepers (small chorus frogs), whose high-pitched calls "made the air vibrate."

Robin-mann Later, after starting a family, she lived in rural Connecticut, north of Hartford where there were tobacco farms and declining towns, and when an old landfill caught fire underground, it became a local rallying cry, with concerns about explosions and contaminated groundwater.

When her kids were young, she got active with local Sierra Club as newsletter editor, pasting up copy at the local newspaper plant. "Most of what I did as an editor was making things fit in the available space."

She soon moved to Pennsylvania and started working with Chapter Director Jeff Schmidt on nutrient pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. Though lacking a scientific background, she found her niche in wetlands and water quality protection, and, over time, developed the expertise to join and later lead the Club's national campaign work in that area.

She's held a range of Club leadership positions at the group, chapter, and national levels, from excom member for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Group to Wetlands Chair of the Pennsylvania Chapter to Chair of the Conservation Governance Committee, and Vice President for Conservation.

She was central to the development of the Climate Recovery Partnership, which "unifies so much of the work we're doing, like protecting lands and promoting clean energy."

"We have to recognize that climate change impacts almost everything we do. The lands we worked so hard to protect are now under threat in a totally different way. We can't protect wetlands without addressing climate change."

She says the six Climate Recovery Campaigns provide great opportunities for people working at the local level to align their work and get national support. And she stresses that the campaign objectives of transforming the energy economy and enabling natural systems and communities to adapt to climate change can only be accomplished through local and state-level, as well as national action.

She cites the Green Transportation Campaign as an example. "With the BP oil disaster still unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, it's more critical than ever that we reduce our dependence on oil. At the local level, that means expanding transportation choices for people through better public transit systems, more bicycle and pedestrian options, more livable communities. At the national level, we press for more funding for transit, higher fuel economy standards, lower-carbon fuels. The campaign structure allows us to integrate those efforts."

Here's Robin talking about Club priorities as she starts her term as president.

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