The Loma Prietan - July/August 2009

Member Close-Up

Volunteer Helps Make San Jose a Cool City

Story and photo by Cheryl Hylton

David Marsland was galvanized into action after three viewings of An Inconvenient Truth.
David Marsland was galvanized into action after three viewings of An Inconvenient Truth.

What happens to someone who by "coincidence" sees the classic global warming film, An Inconvenient Truth, three times in just a few months? They end up like this column's subject: David Marsland. He decided that riding his bicycle to work daily for the last seven years and living an ecologically conscious life wasn't enough and became active in our Chapter's Cool Cities Campaign. David is Cool Cities co-founder and co-leader with Annie Stauffer (featured in this column a year ago) for the largest city in the Bay Area, San Jose.

David and Annie are a dynamic duo and their team has accomplished a lot in just two years. Their first effort was to get educated and the Chapter has a wonderful program headed by global warming program coordinator Julio Magalhães. The team then made it their business to know the players, including San Jose's mayor, Chuck Reed, who subsequently spearheaded the adoption of a Climate Action Plan and San Jose's Green Vision. Elements of the ambitious Green Vision include creating 25,000 clean-tech jobs, reducing per capita energy use by 50%, obtaining 100% of the city's electrical power from clean renewable sources, building 50 million square feet of green buildings, and planting 100,000 new trees. The most impressive long-term goal is to lower San Jose's 2045 green-house gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels. David and Annie's team has spoken out at City Council meetings, the Coyote Valley Task Force, and Envision 2040 General Plan meetings.

In related Club duties, David serves as Global Warming Chair of the Chapter's Guadalupe Group. He has also been working with fellow Cool Cities volunteers David Varn and Annie Stauffer to launch an environmental speaker series, Green Vision Café, in conjunction with San Jose State. The first Café, titled "Cool Cuisine — Taking The Bite Out of Global Warming," featured authors Laura Stec and Eugene Cordero. At May's Café Felix Kramer, founder of Cal Cars, spoke about plug-in hybrid vehicles. Find out about upcoming topics at

David brings his commitment to sustainability into his eBay workplace, where he has served as Chief Instructor since 2004. He is a founding member of the company's Green Team, coordinates the annual Bike-to-Work days, and educates and encourages employees to practice a greener lifestyle.

A husband and father of four sons, he credits his wife, Susan, for their joint participation in De Anza College's Environmental Stewardship program, including wildlife corridor work to help protect Coyote Valley. The Chapter is fortunate to have members like David Marsland serving up their time for the good of our environment.

Cheryl Hylton is a Sierra Club life member and a pro bono fundraising consultant for the Chapter.