Over the weekend, our Sierra Club Executive Committee met to vote on a very controversial proposal that involves protecting a certain environmental treasure. It is perhaps the most difficult issue we have faced in the past decade. To do what one of our environmental activists proposed would mean going against some major political interests and even some other environmental groups. It was argued that we need to retain close working relationships with those politicians and interest groups to achieve other goals. It seemed to be a “damned if you, damned if you don’t” situation. When it came my turn to speak, I made a forceful appeal using a poker analogy, urging our group to go “all in” for the environment. The end vote was 10-1 in favor of the proposed resolution. Some said my analogy is what tipped the vote. I’m feeling pretty good about that. :)
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TajLV has written 10 entries about this goal
My Sierra Club group took a stand in one of our local elections, aiming to oust an incumbent with a poor environmental voting record, as well as a bad history on social issues. We joined with other progressive groups to defeat him in the primary, against strong odds. He had the big money, the backing of high-ranking party leaders and a sense of entitlement. We had grassroots phonebanks, door knocks and small donation fundraising. The results are in. For a change, the underdog has proven triumphant. Nevada will have its first black lesbian military veteran pastor in the State Senate.
How out-of-the-blue cool is this? I just got a call from Washington, D.C. The White House has invited me to attend an event with POTUS tomorrow in Boulder City, NV. Wow. Very kewl, indeed.
POTUS = President of the Untited States
On Saturday, a group of Sierra Club members spent the day working on a five-year plan for our Group. That evening, we had an Open House and honored Nevada Assemblywoman Peggy Pierce for her dedication to the environment. This woman is incredible. She was once a cocktail waitress at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. In those days she spearheaded an anti-pollution lawsuit that later became a model for cities across the U.S. and Canada.
I was just interviewed by Nevada News Service for a radio broadcast they are doing on water issues. We are trying to stop a public utility “Water Grab” that could deplete the Great Basin of ground water and negatively impact the environment for more than 100 years. On Tuesday, one of our members got ejected from a public energy forum for wearing a Sierra Club T-shirt. Next week I’ll be attending a rally to stop a housing development overlooking Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. We are also involved in a law suit to close a polluting coal-fired power plant that sits on the edge of a Native American reservation where respiratory ailments are shockingly high. It’s so much fun being an environmental activist. I highly recommend it.
as the 2011 chair of our local Sierra Club. It’s a real honor, and a huge responsibility, not to mention that our outgoing chair was Superwoman. My style is more managerial. I plan to delegate a lot and empower others to act on their particular interests. Change is good. It’s going to be an interesting year of transition ahead.
The Sierra Club’s Southern Nevada Group held a potluck holiday outing at the Valley of Fire State Park on Saturday afternoon. Although it was cold and drizzly most the day, I am really glad we went. The landscape is amazing…like another planet. In fact, it has been used for several movies, including Star Trek and 1,000,000 B.C.
The food was good, from grilled veggie soup and barbecued turkey sausage with feta to the Cupcake Christmas Tree that Kathy made. Although the turnout was small, the company and conversation was excellent. Next year the event will be indoors, I’m sure, but it was good to get out for a few hours on a Saturday in December. I couldn’t think of a more beautiful venue.
to attend a political training in Washington, D.C. in mid-October. If the Club can work out the logistics, I’ll be spending three days with other activists from around the country, learning how to put our environmental causes on local, state and national agendas, raise funds, endorse candidates, and otherwise use the Club’s clout to protect the planet.
I am now officially a member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Nevada Group of the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club. Boy, that is a mouthful. And so was the pledge we took when sworn in, but it is poignant and I thought I would share it with everyone here. We pledged to:
- Explore, enjoy, and promote the wild places of the earth;
- Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources;
- Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and,
- Use all lawful means to carry out those objectives.
I especially like the last line. :)
My first real task is to order materials for the table we are setting up for Earth Day in April. This year, we are breaking with traditions of the past and not participating in the event organized by the Hughes Corporation here. Businesses have been rather successful at hijacking Earth Day for their own purposes. Instead, we are leading a group of environmentally concerned organizations in our own event at the Clark County Government Center. We have one of the County Commissioners helping us out.
Last year I attended a couple of meetings and liked the people I met. Thinking it might be nice to get more involved as soon as I got less busy, I mentioned my interest to a few other members. When the political campaign season ended in November, one of the officers of the local chapter asked me if I might be interested in taking a role in leadership. I said I needed to know more about what was involved. Subsequently, I attended a special briefing in December and was invited to observe the chapter’s January Executive Committee (ExCom) meeting. That took place last Monday evening. Before the meeting ended, I had been appointed to the ExCom for a one-year term as the Southern Nevada Group’s Membership Chair. Looks like I’ll be completing this goal rather quickly. Ha!
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