The Loma Prietan - November/December 2012

Candidate Statements - Loma Prieta Chapter Executive Committee

Executive Committee Candidate Statements

The ballot for Chapter and Regional Group Executive Committees (ExCom) was included in the mailed version of the Loma Prietan.  Please vote.

Note that candidates for the Executive Committees of the Peninsula Regional Group and the San Carlos/Belmont Group did not submit statements.

Chapter Executive Committee Candidate Statements

Name: Richard Alexander

City of residence: San Mateo

Occupation: Community Organizer and Policy Researcher

Education: B.A., Santa Clara University. Majored in Environmental Studies and Conflict Resolutions Studies. Valedictorian, Woodside High School

Statement: The time for environmental leadership is now. I respectfully ask for your vote to serve on the Executive Committee of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club.

While our social, economic, and political systems stagnate, the significant environmental challenges our generation faces continue to nag at our conscience. I, for one, do not accept the inertia of our government to tackle the crisis of a rapidly warming climate, to harness the opportunity of new green-powered industries, and to create food sovereignty where there are currently food deserts.

I am a 25-year-old Community Organizer, ready to bring fresh energy and ideas to invigorate the Sierra Club and the environmental movement. I bring 7+ years of experience and victories in organizing families, tenants, immigrants, workers, and residents to achieve improved quality of life. I would be thrilled to bring this experience to bear in creating the environmental future we all desire.

Name: John Cordes

City of residence: Sunnyvale

Occupation: Program Manager

Education: : B.S Chemical Engineering. M.S Engineering Management

Statement: I am an active leader in the Loma Prieta chapter, currently engaged on the Executive Committee, Political Committee, Inner City Outings, Ski Touring Section and Sunnyvale Cool. I served on the chapter’s Excom in 1996-7 and since 2010. For more than 10 years, I’ve been a leader for the political committee. I understand the excom's roles and responsibilities and where it is trying to lead the chapter. Looking forward, our chapter and club face challenging times. Funding and membership are dropping; yet the need to protect the earth continues. Social media has dramatically changed the way non-profits like us can and should interact with our members. The chapter is working hard to re-invent itself to generate much more income with local fundraising and grants because allocations are being reduced. We are making progress in these areas and we need to continue those efforts. Thanks for considering voting for me. 

Name: Melissa Hippard

City of residence: Redwood City

Occupation: Campaigns Director, Greenbelt Alliance

Education: BA Politics, USCS, MA Political Science, Colorado State University, PhD Sociology, Colorado State University

Statement: I am a Bay Area native who is passionate about the environment. I am fortunate to have served as the Chapter Director for the Loma Prieta Chapter (2003-2009). I worked on many environmental issues, from high-speed rail to forest protection to bay wetlands restoration. I have worked with the chapter leadership for over 9 years and this experience has provided me with hope and frustration. Hope because there are so many wonderful people passionate about making the world a greener, safer, healthier place and frustrated that we can't do more. If I am elected I promise to continue my efforts to guide the Loma Prieta chapter to financial stability and develop ways to increase member engagement in our many conservation activities. We need to support our national organization and our local outings program – both of which are important for resources (human and hard currency).

Name: Donald Kelly

City of residence: Mountain View

Occupation: Attorney

Education: J.D. University of San Diego, School of Law; B.A. Political Science, Minors: Public Administration and Economics, San Jose State University

Statement: I am a candidate because I believe I can help. I am a litigation attorney in private practice and am familiar with environmental laws, including CEQA. My prior environmental experience includes working at the Environmental Health Coalition in San Diego working on water quality and household toxic issues. I also worked at the center for Public Interest Law monitoring California regulatory agencies, including the Department of Fish and Game. I also co-authored the published article “Near Extinction: California’s protection of endangered species” detailing California’s regulatory failure in this area.

I believe that Ex-com would benefit from having an attorney who could inform on legal and regulatory issues, pending litigation and legislative actions. I also hope to use my abilities for chapter fundraising and education.

The Sierra Club is a volunteer organization which does incredible work. I would be honored to serve on Ex-com. I ask for your support.

Name: Darren Ponce

City of residence: San Jose

Occupation: Annual Fund Manager, Computer History Museum

Education: B.A. Political Science (San Jose State University) and M.S. Environmental Policy and Management (University of Denver)

Statement: Over the past four years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with volunteers and several environmental organizations in protecting and promoting a green future for the Bay Area. I currently fundraise at the Computer History Museum and chair the Cool Cities Team in San Jose. This last year and a half as Chair of the San Jose Cool Cities team included working with volunteers to arrange special events, conduct strategic planning, and rally groups to help enforce the Green Vision Goals adopted by the City of San Jose. Prior to this, I was employed with our Loma Prieta Chapter for three years and have gained insights into the chapter workings as well as aided in building personal relationships with our wonderful network of volunteers. My collegiate experience in Political Science and Environmental Policy have heavily influenced the way I live my life and has served as a great resource for working with local government officials and community leadership groups. Promoting the beliefs and mission of the Sierra Club and chapter have been a proud endeavor that I would like to continue to pursue as a member of the executive committee.

Name: Heyward Robinson

City of residence: Menlo Park

Occupation: Sr. Scientist, SRI International; Former Mayor, Menlo Park; Board of Directors, Sustainable Silicon Valley

Education: Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University; BSE, Mechanical Engineering, Duke University

Statement:As a father, scientist, and public servant, I have a deep passion for protecting the environment. While on the Menlo Park City Council, I co-founded the city’s Green Ribbon Citizen’s Committee, a volunteer group that was instrumental in creating the city’s first green house gas inventory and Climate Action Plan. I served as Chairman of the San Francisquito Creek JPA, and on two transportation policy boards. As a former Mayor, I understand the power and effectiveness of open, inclusive and collaborative decision making. If elected to the Executive Committee, I’ll bring this experience to work on the many issues facing our community, be they expansion of transit networks, creating more walkable and healthy downtowns, fighting sprawl, or the restoration of local creeks and streams. Thank you for considering my candidacy. I look forward to working with you to create a sustainable future for our children and generations to come.

Guadalupe Regional Group Executive Committee Candidate Statements

Name: Shawn Britton

City of residence: Santa Clara

Occupation: Software Engineer

Education: AS Electronics

Statement:I am a Bay Area native and Sierra club member since 1985. I have led Sierra Club hikes for about 16 years. I served as Chapter secretary for 4 years, and continue to do ex-officio work for the Chapter. I have served as outings chair for the Guadalupe Regional Group for 4 years. In those positions, I have learned a great deal about local environmental issues. Leading hikes and speaking with participants has made me appreciate the importance of preserving the green belt, and to understand the concerns of our members. I would like to continue as member of the Guadalupe Group Executive Committee as part of my concern for local environmental issues. I feel I can contribute to the influence and vigilance of the Sierra Club.

Name: Cynthia Denny

City of residence: Not given

Occupation: Not given

Education: Not given

Statement:I have served for the past year as the group’s Conservation Chair, acting as liaison to the Southbay Salt Pond Restoration, and drafted and passed the Label GMO (Yes on Prop 37) ballot initiative all the way up to the state level.

What I bring to the Guadalupe Group:

Management and people skills. 15 years I have worked as an environmental advocate and a paralegal. I have managed several businesses, campaign operations, led political/civic groups, and served on boards of other organizations.

Knowledge of California’s environment, legislation, and politics. I have hands-on experience in the local and state government.

Excellent contacts with the local organizations. I have worked with dozens of leaders of environmental groups and well respected within the community.

Public skills;I’ve appeared in the media and written dozens of environmental issue news articles.

Elect me to help me create a strong Club in the south bay.