Alaska Chapter Executive Committee candidate statements
Action needed by 3, 2012
Alaska Chapter Executive Committee candidates:
In 1982 I moved to Alaska and got involved with the Sierra Club the same year. Since that time, I have worked on a number of issues and, I hope, have helped bring about some changes. Whether it was the fight to thwart the major pulp mills in Southeast (a great victory), trying to prevent a boondoggle road to Juneau (so far so good), or working with friends and allies on the national level to promote wilderness status for the Arctic National Wildlife refuge, the battles have been fierce but worthy. Sometimes I feel like I have been hanging around for a long time. I have learned a few things, and my reasons for getting involved have not changed. More importantly, the threats to this place that I love have not gone away. The powers that be still want to clear-cut the Tongass, and our political “leaders” want to create a national sacrifice zone in the Arctic just like the Gulf of Mexico. Senator Murkowski believes that burning coal is essential for our future. With your permission, I will continue to help lead the Alaska Sierra Club’s fight against these outdated ideas and to strengthen our efforts for a healthy planet.
If re-elected, I will continue my four-decade-long effort, first as long-time Alaska representative and now as a Chapter volunteer, to guard Alaska’s premier federal lands, with special focus on implementation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. In this task, I will keep Chapter members posted on the latest concerns, monitor the actions of the federal agencies with jurisdiction over our national parks, wildlife refuges, wild & scenic rivers, and wilderness areas; keep track of congressional bills affecting these conservation units; present the Club's positions on Alaska bills before Congress when invited to testify; assist our land protection team in the Washington DC office; work with Sierra Club attorneys, and help develop Chapter positions on these issues.
For more than thirty years, I have worked to protect the environment as staff and as a volunteer with the Sierra Club, including twenty-two years here in Alaska. I coordinated the successful grassroots effort to persuade the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council to use Exxon’s fines to purchase more than 600,000 acres of privately-owned coastal wildlife habitat and protect it as new state and federal park, refuge and forest lands. I also organized the Sierra Club’s actions, in coordination with other conservation organizations, to improve management of the Tongass National Forest, leading up to the major reforms of the Tongass Land Management Plan revision of 1997. More recently, I have served on the Alaska Chapter’s Executive Committee, and as Chapter Chair. I appreciate the wonderful activists we have here, and strive to keep everyone working together smoothly and effectively to maintain Alaska’s beauty and biological diversity, particularly by protecting our public lands and preventing global warming.
Juneau Group Executive Committee Candidates & Bylaws:
Richard Hellard, Juneau (see statement above)
Irene Alexakos, off the grid in Haines. Thirty year member of Sierra Club. Current Secretary of Alaska Chapter and of Juneau Group. Past Chair of Alaska Chapter.
Proposed Bylaws amendment:Juneau Group of the Sierra Club’s executive committee voted unanimously to add two more seats to the groups executive committee (ex-com). The reason for doing this is to enable JGSC to have more activists to be involved in making decisions without having to have any current member leave their seats. Please note that these days it is hard to find active volunteers and the more we have involved at a high level the better off we all are. After JGSC voted to expand the ex-com, by the Sierra Club’s bylaws, the ex-com of the AK Chapter of the Sierra Club then had to vote to allow the expansion also, and they did so. Now the members of JGSC also have to vote in favor of the expansion. Please do so.
Sierra Club Alaska Chapter election ballots were mailed to members on Friday, December 2.
Deadline: To be counted, marked ballots must be received at the Sierra Club Anchorage office by Tuesday, January 3, at 5:00pm. Thank you for voting.
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