portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts global

actions & protests | anti-racism | environment

Hostile Takeover: Anti-Immigration Coalition Seeks Control of Sierra Club

Outsiders are trying to take over the Club by placing stealth candidates on the Club's board ballot this year. This is driven by anti-immigration activists, and their tactics are underhanded -- they aren't declaring their real issue positions to members. They hope that low participation and confusion will allow them to stack the board of directors.

You can stop this if you are a Sierra Club member, but you must vote now in the Sierra Club board election. You probably have already received the ballot in the mail.
Sierra Club board problem
by MoveOn.org
March 18, 2004

Are you a Sierra Club member?
The future of the Sierra Club is at stake.

Outsiders are trying to take over the Club by placing stealth candidates on the Club's board ballot this year. This is driven by anti-immigration activists, and their tactics are underhanded -- they aren't declaring their real issue positions to members. They hope that low participation and confusion will allow them to stack the board of directors.

You can stop this, but you must vote now in the Sierra Club board election. You probably have already received the ballot in the mail.

We've attached below an outreach from Groundswell Sierra -- a volunteer network of Sierra Club members working to defeat this threat. This outreach includes a list of endorsed candidates. We recommending printing this email and having it on hand as you fill out your ballot.

If you'd like more information on this threat, go to:

 http://www.groundswellsierra.org/takeover_index.php

Thank you,

-Carrie, Joan, Noah, Peter, and Wes
The MoveOn.org team
Tuesday, March 18th, 2004

P.S. You won't be hearing from the Sierra Club directly about this underhanded maneuver by anti-immigration activists. Sierra Club staff cannot speak out about board elections. It's up to us.

You can review an article on this attempted takeover by former Sierra Club President, Adam Werbach, at:

Hostile Takeover Anti-immigration coalition seeks control of Sierra Club By Adam Werbach | 3.9.04  http://inthesetimes.com/comments.php?id=644_0_2_0_M

Key excerpt:

"In 1998 the membership voted overwhelmingly to stay out of the (immigration) issue, restating that the most effective way to deal with the impact of population on the planet is to reduce levels of American waste and to raise the global status of women."

P.P.S. You can vote on line, but only with your paper ballot in hand. For more information:

 http://www.groundswellsierra.org/vote.php ________________

ACTION ALERT FROM GROUNDSWELL SIERRA:

The Sierra Club has been targeted for a hostile takeover by anti-immigration, animal rights and other groups who are running petition candidates with no Sierra Club experience for the Board of Directors. Don't take our word for it: The Los Angeles Times, Santa Fe New Mexican, Denver Post, and Philadelphia Inquirer have all warned that the threat is serious. That's why Groundswell Sierra - a diverse group of Sierra Club volunteers who are working to defend the Sierra Club - is asking you to support five Nominating Committee-recommended candidates who have over 75 years of collective experience as Sierra Club grassroots activists and will put their loyalty to the Sierra Club above their personal agendas:

NICK AUMEN, Everglades restoration scientist and former Sierra Club Treasurer and Vice President for Conservation.

DAVE KARPF, Recent Director of Sierra Student Coalition, and Chair of the Sierra Club's Training and national EPEC field programs.

JAN O'CONNELL, Sierra Club Treasurer, former Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness, fundraiser in the Sierra Club's beat-Bush effort.

SANJAY RANCHOD, delegate to the U.N. Kyoto global warming negotiations and Chair of the Sierra Club's Sustainable Planet Strategy Team.

LISA RENSTROM, leader of the Harvard project to strengthen the Sierra Club's groups and chapters, former Director, former Foundation Trustee, and former Chair of the Sierra Club's fundraising efforts.

Nick, Dave, Jan, Sanjay, and Lisa have brought experience and dedicated leadership to the Sierra Club. They have led our conservation priority campaigns, the Sierra Club's EPEC program, help strengthen the Sierra Club's financial health, run the Sierra Student Coalition, and represented the Sierra Club at UN conferences on the Kyoto accord on global warming. (For information on these candidates, go to our website,  http://www.groundswellsierra.org)

At a time when the Sierra Club's own democratic process is being used against us, when our agenda and assets are targeted for takeover by outsiders, we are giving Nick, Dave, Jan, Sanjay, and Lisa our unqualified support. These are trusted leaders who have shown that they value the Club's mission and grassroots culture, and who believe only a united and strong Sierra Club can stop George Bush's assaults on our air, water, wild lands and wildlife.

Finally, we would be remiss if did not acknowledge the invaluable contributions former Board Directors Chad Hanson, Michael Dorsey and Ed Dobson have made to the Sierra Club's conservation work, and we wish them well in this election.

Please share this email with as many of your friends and other Sierra Club members as you can. Urge them to visit our website ( http://www.groundswellsierra.or), and when their ballots arrive in early March, please VOTE!

There's a lot at stake. The following quotes explain why.

"We're only three directors away from controlling the board. And, once we get three more directors elected...[We'll] change the entire agenda of that organization." -- Paul Watson, Sierra Club Director and animal rights activist at the center of the take over effort.

"If they succeed. Our integrity, our credibility and our reputation will be severely damaged and we will be rendered less effective on all the issues our members care about." -- Ross Vincent, long time Sierra Club activist.

"Fighting over immigration policy nearly destroyed the Sierra Club's effectiveness once; it cannot be allowed to happen again by electing people to the board whose purpose is to overthrow its established policies. We should not be battling each other when our main task must be to end the worst administration in the history of our nation." -- Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University

"Sierra Club has an essential role and voice in the debate over the health of our environment. It is crucial that this voice and leadership are maintained and strengthened during these challenging times." --Carol Browner, Chair of National Audubon Society, former EPA Administrator, 1993-2001.

"Now more than ever we need a strong Sierra Club. With the Bush administration's assault on the environment, we need directors who care about its 112-year mission. Please support these five nominated candidates." --Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Environmentalist and NRDC Board Member

Learn more:  http://www.groundswellsierra.org

** PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR SIERRA CLUB MEMBER FRIENDS ** By circulating this to your personal contacts, you can help support the Sierra Club's democratic culture against outsider takeover. Please don't spam; spam works against us.

SEE ALSO on Portland IMC:  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/283164.shtml

homepage: homepage: http://www.freepress.org/doit.php?strFunc=display&strID=153&strYear=2004