Since November -- more specifically, since the November election -- Sierra Club's membership in California has jumped by more than 10,000.
I suspect you can guess one reason why: Many Californians are determined to not let the Trump Administration roll back environmental protections without a fight.
You may be one of those new members. Or you may be one of the long-time members who gets this Letter from Sacramento every month and wonders: What is this thing called Sierra Club California?
And who is this person that keeps sending me these letters?
First things first: Sierra Club California is the legislative and regulatory advocacy arm of Sierra Club in California. We're unlike any other Club chapter anywhere in the country. We focus only on state-level issues.
We're based in Sacramento, just a few blocks from the Capitol building. By "we", in this case, I mean the staff that makes up the physical presence of Sierra Club California day to day.
But the "we" in Sierra Club California is a lot more than staff. It's you.
Sierra Club California (http://www.sierraclub.org/california) is governed by a volunteer board of directors or, in Club parlance, an executive committee. The positions we take on legislation, who we endorse in elections, and where we stand on regulatory issues are determined by lots of volunteers who are active in a variety of committees.
That means that if you want to be involved in
state-level issues as a volunteer (http://www.sierraclub.org/california/volunteer), there's a place for you and it could be on one of Sierra Club California's committees.
If you're more interested in local issues, there's a place for you in a local chapter. There are 13 local chapters around the state. Not a single inch of California is outside the bounds of some local chapter. You can find the list of local chapters , with a rough map outlining jurisdictions, on Sierra Club California's website: http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=0d48c86f6b62ca8e239eb2db4871141e6b9b3e6a7a5b0d1ed2f1b955e74282ba2974cc56ccbfb0ef2aef355fa2775c8ad3707a9e94b45234
So, back to the state-level work.
The staff "we" includes three policy advocates and two administrative staff (http://www.sierraclub.org/california/meet-staff). One of those policy advocates is me, and because I'm the director, one of my jobs is to make sure you and our other members in California know about the big things going on in Sacramento. That's why I write this letter, and why you get it once a month.
And big things do happen in Sacramento, particularly lately.
California has become the stand-out hub of resistance to new national policies that will create environmental degradation and social injustice.
Just this week, legislators introduced senate bills (SB 49, SB 50 and SB 51 ) that overtly and firmly propose to strengthen California's own bedrock environmental laws to make sure nothing the new federal administration does will harm our own environmental protections (http://sd24.senate.ca.gov/news/2017-02-23-senate-unveils-california-environmental-defense-act-public-lands-and-whistleblower).
Two weeks ago, legislators introduced an assembly bill (AB 262: http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=0d48c86f6b62ca8e6762f4362e8ad1e54329a713ef03dbd40487874f6c8799dacd5f6eb8fd19ff456b14f815e480be6af99f831dee2c8ba8 that will help the state use its purchasing power to cut climate change pollution. Learn more about it here: http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=0d48c86f6b62ca8ef0d129d65353ef89c4f078ad0d332cfee21151996aa5d62690ed07ce529f5dc021963357e6ea8daad2763c10437410bc
Over the next year, the California Air Resources Board will develop and adopt plans and regulations designed to keep advancing a broad range of zero-emission vehicles -- not just passenger vehicles -- to help clean up health-threatening air pollution and cut climate change pollution.
Sometime over the next several months, various state water agencies are going to be considering key issues and making big decisions that will determine whether the state will follow a path to create a smarter, more resilient water system.
These are just some of the issues that Sierra Club California staff and volunteers are following and influencing.
Big things happen in Sacramento. Big things happen all over California. If you've just joined Sierra Club -- or joined long ago -- you've made a smart move and are playing a role in big things. Sincerely, Kathryn Phillips Director
Thank you for being a part of our work! You may securely donate http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=0d48c86f6b62ca8ee4e93bdc01c57e0877dae7315e44a6549fc1eb183826132ab997b8da72833408f22d0cd9db95fb2c62e9a5b4ba98d9d8fdd52796f74a0179 online or by sending a check to Sierra Club California at 909 12th Street, Suite 202, Sacramento, CA 95814.