Women Environmental Leaders

March is Women’s’ History Month. Here are some of women who are making a difference

Wangari Maathai, is a woman of many firsts: not only is she the first African woman and first environmentalist to bring home a Nobel Peace Prize, she was also the first Eastern African woman to receive a Ph.D. in 1971 and the first woman to hold a professorship at one of the universities in Nairobi, Kenya. Her inspiring story is one of incredible tenacity and purpose. Maathai is also famous for being the frontwoman of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign.

Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson

As a well-known modern environmental heroine, Rachel Carson is credited with bringing ill-managed DDT pesticide contamination under national attention with her 1960s ground-breaking book, Silent Spring. The book helped to crystallize the beginnings of an American environmental movement, and was a catalyst for changing national pesticide policies. Her work provided formative inspiration for the deep ecology and eco-feminist movements, in addition to laying the groundwork for organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Indian environmental and activist Vandana Shiva is an outspoken campaigner for protecting seed biodiversity against biotech-profiteering and genetic engineering. Her grassroots approach has helped to redefine food security and the green revolution as a movement that empowers local food growers, rather than big agribusiness. She is the founder of Navdanya, a NGO based in Dehradun, India that promotes organic farming and seed-saving.

Recently named as the U.N Senior Advisor on Water Issues, Maude Barlow is a Canadian activist and author whose work deals primarily with the unsustainable practices that are wasting this precious gift. For Barlow, water is a public trust that must be preserved in our culture and laws, and must be delivered as a public service, not a profitable commodity. Her so-called blue covenant boldly calls for access to clean, affordable to be recognized as a fundamental human right.

An environmental justice advocate and consultant, Majora Carter is the founder of Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), which has been instrumental in leading a number of sustainable restoration projects along the Bronx waterfront, including Hunt Point Riverside Park. SSBx also runs the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training (BEST) program, one of the first urban, green-collar job training programs in the country. Carter has won a number of awards for her pioneering work, including the MacArthur Fellowship and the Rachel Carson Award from the National Audubon Society.

Safia Minney. In the mid-1990s, before ethical fashion became a uber-trendy catchphrase, innovative fair trade clothing company People Tree was already using eco-textiles and helping skilled, local artisans gain access to markets. Known as one of the world’s foremost social entrepreneurs, establishing World Fair Trade Day (observed every second Saturday of May). Minney’s work strives to change the fashion business by addressing integral issues of fair wages, gender equity, transparency, accountability, capacity building, improved working conditions and environmentally sound practices.

February 4 – Speaker: Christopher Yanov CEO of Reality Changers

La Mesa Foothills Democratic Club, the third largest chartered club in San Diego County, and serving the communities of Del Cerro, Allied Gardens, San Carlos, College Area, La Mesa, Mt. Helix, Santee and Casa de Oro, will have a fantastic speaker headlining their Wednesday, Feb. 4 meeting.

Recently named one of the most-admired CEOs by the San Diego Business Journal and one of San Diego’s new civic power brokers by San Diego Magazine, Christopher Yanov raised and awarded over $1 million in scholarships to inner-city students before turning 30 years old.

Christopher Yanov
Mr. Yanov earned four college degrees in just five years. He graduated in two and a half years from both UC San Diego (with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Spanish Literature) and the University of San Diego (with Master’s degrees in Peace & Justice and International Relations).

Previously, Mr. Yanov worked with gang members for five years before starting Reality Changers in May 2001 with just $300, yet now the program’s students have earned $60 million in scholarships from all sources. He credits his appearance on “Wheel of Fortune” in late 2001 for providing the initial financial support for Reality Changers to truly become a bona fide program.

Mr. Yanov has also served on the San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention & Intervention as well as the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Education & Workforce Development Committee.

Currently, Mr. Yanov serves on the Tijuana Innovadora Binational Committee, the University of San Diego’s Emerging Leaders Council, the Voice of San Diego Member Council, and the Federal Employees Scholarship Foundation. He is also presently putting the finishing touches on his book, “The Tightrope Theory: Why Prevention Programs May Do More Harm Than Good.

Our club will also host the return of Larry and Arlene Howe, longtime club stalwarts, who will be visiting San Diego after an absence of nearly two years. The Howes are currently living in Italy, and will share details of their wonderful European experience with their many friends and admirers.

People are still raving about the environmental policy lesson they got from our inspirational January speakers, the dynamic duo from our local Sierra Club Political Committee, Davin Widgerow and Brian Elliott. The Sierra Club of San Diego shares our concerns about climate change, fracking, traffic and pollution, over-development of our open spaces and parkland, water quality, and so much more. We learned a lot about legal precedence in local environmental battles, issues that we will face with the new Congress, and the role the Sierra Club will play in the pivotal 2016 election. It turns out most of the 75 club members present were also members of the Sierra Club, so many of the beautiful photos and storied history of the Sierra Club shared by Davin and Brian were a great and meaningful refresher as to why our clubs share so many common goals. Many key battles lay ahead for progressives and environmentalists in San Diego County, the state of California, and nationally.

We also bid a tearful goodbye to our longtime treasurer and friend, Ann Stiles, who’s moving to Hemet to be closer to family. She will be sorely missed, and was always appreciated! Good luck Ann!

Our club meets at the very nice La Mesa Community Center, just up the hill from the intersection of Memorial Drive and University Avenue. We have a social half hour at 6:30 p.m., featuring snacks and desserts provided by members, and then meetings start at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend as our guests, and we promise to have you home by 9 p.m. Please visit our website at lamesafoothillsdemocraticclub.com, or like us on our Facebook page.

Full Slate of Dems for Equality Events Kick-off on July 17th

Happy Pride!!!

Stonewall Pride Parade –LMFDC Members will be marching with Dems for Equality, please see directions below

Join marchers from the County Party, several other Democratic Clubs, Carol Kim and her campaign volunteers, Kevin Beiser and his campaign volunteers and your fellow Dems for Equality members. We will all be meeting at the Parade Staging Area, Zone G (East side of Normal Street North of Harvey Milk Street), Contingent 20 at 10am; please arrive no later than 10:30am. The entrance to the staging area is at the corner of Park Blvd and Lincoln Street.

Pride Festival
We are still short of volunteers to staff our booth from 3-5PM and 5-8:30PM on Sunday. Even if you can’t help out during those shifts, let us know HERE when you can help. If you’ve already volunteered, please try to arrive at the booth ten minutes before your selected shift.

Stop the San Onofre $3.3B Nuclear Bailout!

WHEN
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 3-4:30pm
(Please note ending time change to allow attendees to also attend San Onofre CEP meeting in Oceanside).

WHERE
Mission Valley Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego CA 92108 (Next to IKEA)
PRESS RELEASE & MEDIA ADVISORY
COPS and COALITION TO DECOMMISSION SAN ONOFRE

Ratepayer Advocates Host Public Meeting In San Diego
SAN DIEGO (2014-07-15) – Opponents to the proposed $3.3 billion San Onofre settlement will host a public meeting in San Diego to shine a bright light on the back-room settlement and explain why it is a ratepayer rip-off. The meeting will be held at the Mission Valley branch of the San Diego Public Library, located next to IKEA in mission valley, Thursday July 17, from 3 to 4:30 pm. The public is welcome but seating is limited to the first 100 attendees. Doors open at 2:45, so arrive early to get a seat.

Ratepayer advocates will make presentations and open up the floor to comments. Speakers include Ray Lutz, National Coordinator for COPS, and Mike Aguirre, counsel for a party in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) San Onofre proceedings. In addition to the public, all candidates, elected and appointed officials are invited to attend, as this settlement will push up utility costs even higher than sky-high costs already a fact of life in California.

The CPUC held a public meeting in Costa Mesa, 35 miles north of the San Onofre Nuclear Station, but have refused to also hold a public meeting in San Diego County. Opponents to the settlement were limited to only 20 minutes, could not distribute materials in the room, and could not make a powerpoint presentation. This meeting will allow the opponents to the settlement sufficient time to make the case against the settlement in a venue convenient for San Diego County ratepayers.

“The worst thing about the settlement agreement is the fact that the CPUC investigation into the failure at San Onofre is stopped dead,” said Ray Lutz, national coordinator for COPS. “ CPUC proceedings were structured so that the Phase 3 investigation into the events that led to the failure at San Onofre Nuclear Station was not even started, although the Commission spent 18 months investigating side issues: what happened after the failure, toying with equations for replacement power costs, and reviewing how much of the failed plant was still ‘used and useful’. “Without a comprehensive review, no lessons are learned and mistakes will be repeated,” Lutz said.

“It’s simple. We are trying to save ratepayers up to $3.3 billion in their electric rates. SCE and SDG&E want us ratepayers to continue to pay for the abandoned plant, to cover not only their investment, but also provide a healthy return on investment “profit” as well,” continued Lutz, and a party in the CPUC investigation under the banner of the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre. “Paying for a plant — with profit — that is not operating for another ten years is well beyond what the average citizen believes is fair and appropriate.”

Michael Aguirre, former City Attorney for San Diego and counsel for a party at the proceeding commented, “We believe not only that the settlement is unfair, but it was negotiated in a manner contrary to class-action law. SCE President Ron Litzinger admitted under oath that the record of the proceeding contains nothing to support proper review by the Commission so as to allow approval. The settlement should not be approved and the proceedings should continue, and proper negotiations held.”

An investigation by Aguirre uncovered the fact that the CPUC had hired a consultant to provide a technical review of the facts surrounding the shutdown, but then inextricably pulled that contract in February, prior to the announcement of the settlement agreement. “This suggests CPUC officials were improperly aware of the settlement prior to the public announcement on March 27, and alludes to official complicity in the coverup,” Aguirre said.

The abbreviated 3-hour evidentiary hearing on May 14th included an extensive cross examination by Aguirre, culminating in cursing and yelling by Commission President Peevey when he was put on the spot regarding any secret and unlawful ex parte meetings with SCE during the many months of settlement negotiation. This outburst has become a YouTube sensation, with some groups even making a cell phone ring tone of his words, “I don’t have to answer your questions. I don’t have to answer your goddamned questions, now Shut up! Shut up!!”

Key clips of the cross examination (including Peevey’s outburst) can be found on YouTube at this URL: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1444

A video version of the presentation by COPS can be viewed on line at
http://www.copswiki.org/Common/StopTheUnfairSettlement

Ratepayer advocates request that the public communicate their displeasure with the bailout settlement by emailing public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

Facebook event – please join and get on the list of attendees
https://www.facebook.com/events/665064766904400


 

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre is a project of Citizens Oversight, Inc. also known as Citizens Oversight Projects, or COPS. Ray Lutz is a founder of the organization, which focuses on promoting civic engagement, and has been involved in many success stories, including helping to stop the expansion of Blackwater in San Diego County and the shut down of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, of course with the involvement of the local community in each case.