a letter of support for the Sierra Club NYC EXCOM (fwd)

rosaphil (rugosa@interport.net)
Thu, 15 Apr 1999 14:23:25 -0400 (EDT)

please reply to the original poster as listed in the forwarded message

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 21:40:16 -0400
From: julia willebrand <jmw255@interport.net>

Subject: a letter of support for the Sierra Club NYC EXCOM

Dear Everybody

My apologies if you get multiple copies of this. I'm having trouble
figuring out who is on what list.

I"m an active Green (I ran for State Senate on the Green line in Nov. 1998
and am the NYGP rep to ASGP and GPUSA) and am also an active NYC Sierra
Club member. As a Sierra Club member I Chair the Solid Waste committee
(last night wearing that hat, I testified at a public hearing against the
EIS for the planned export of NYC garbage), I am initiator of an ongoing
public access tv project about solid waste issues. I write frequently for
the City Sierran which goes out to 12,000 NYC members. The work I do with
each organization is complimentary. I know I couldn't get the stuff done
that I do being active in only one of these orgs.

The NYC group is a strong force for the environment. I'm sure all over the
state there are wonderful people working for the environment. But, it
appears to me that the Atlantic Chapter BOG has been captured by corporate
types who believe that they can influence the course of enviromental work
by going along with those in power like Mr Pataki. Unfortunately they also
cannot tolerate environmental activist who want to take a different course.
And so they maneuvred to get rid of the NYCEXCOM to take over this area of

The NYC EXCOM could use the support of Greens as individuals or as a group.
But it is for each of you to make the decision as to what kind of support
you are willing to give your camrades in the Sierra Club.

***Please note***

Last fall the NYC EXCOM voted to endorse me for State Senate. This
endorsement would have carried with it a letter to each Sierra member in my
district, I'm told about 1200 voters, if the Chapter BOG had permitted it.
Local groups must vote for endorsement of local candidates, then the
Atlantic BOG has to approve it.The BOG led by Rhea Jezer did not permit the
endorsement. Thus I and every NY State Green lost an opportunity to reach
1200 voters. At the same meeting the NYC group thwarted BOG plans to
endorse Pataki, Boehlert and Gilman among other.

Also note that Frank Morris, then newly appointed to the Chapter BOG, voted
with the BOG people to disolve the NYC Group.

Maris has written about the issue and her facts are accurate.

FYI: I copy the letter I wrote to McGrady Pres. of Nat'l Sierra. It gives
details of my view of this fiasco which I fear will cause problems with my
Solid Waste Work.

I apologize for the length of this missive
April 05, 1999

Charles McGrady
President, Sierra Club
104 Sunningdale Drive
Flat Rock, North Carolina 28731

Dear Mr McGrady,

	I write to ask you to rectify an serious miscarriage of justice. On
March 27, 1999 the Atlantic Chapter Board of Governance (BOG) voted to
suspend the NYC Group Executive Committee ( EXCOM) and to sanction some
members of the NYC  EXCOM. As an observer, I attended the meeting at which
this vote was taken. I was shocked at the partisanship and apparent
irregularities which occurred.

	 The proceedings had the air of a kangaroo court. Stuart
Auchincloss representing the BOG Executive Committee  presented the
resolutions as "necessary to punish a group which defied the authority of
the Chapter BOG". The use of authoritarian military terminology  to
describe an EXCOM fund raising initiative is offensive. I am a volunteer in
a volunteer run organization.  It has always been my belief that the Sierra
Club functioned to support its volunteer activist.  When the Atlantic
Chapter  withdrew the services that the NYC Group needed to support
volunteer activities, the Group had to raise money. The BOG Executive
Committee should have been  congratulating the NYC EXCOM for taking an
initiative. Instead the BOG used a Draconian proceeding to exert its
authority and to effectively disenfranchised all members of the NYC Group
who voted for the EXCOM.

	As to what I perceive as irregularities: it is my understanding
that only five (5) members of BOG Executive Committee  drew up the
resolutions and set the date for this  highly questionable BOG meeting.
The resolutions they wrote effectively represent an indictment; an
indictment at  which no member of the NYC EXCOM was present. Further, no
high crime necessitated the extraordinary speed  (two weeks) with which the
EXCOM was removed and NYC members'  disenfranchisement was push through.

	The partisan nature of the BOG meeting was apparent. Consider that
three (3) newly appointed members who voted on this matter included:
former NYC Water Committee chair,  Frank Eadie  representing  the Long
Island Group despite being a NYC resident,  Frank Morris attending a BOG
meeting for the 2nd time, and  Chairperson Rhea Jezer's son Avery (?).
Without the votes of these new appointees, none of the resolutions would
have carried. Further,  the atmosphere of the meeting was tainted by
actions of Susan Holmes,  National staff person and  Lori Brown, Atlantic
Chapter staff member, who actively tried to prevent members such as myself
from gaining admission to the  meeting.

	As the chair of the NYC Group Solid Waste Committee I am worried
about public fallout from this ill considered, spiteful action by the BOG
EXCOM. And,  I wonder whether this is the work of League of Conservation
Voter (LCV) infiltrators. The  NY State LCV  leadership  sold its
environmental soul to the Pataki administration for "access" when in 1998
it endorsed George Pataki prior to the selection of a Democratic candidate.
I've heard that the BOG group that orchestrated the suspension of the NYC
EXCOM are also insiders in LCV. It has been suggested that this suspension
of EXCOM members is a payback for thwarting BOG members attempts to endorse
candidates with mediocre environmental records.

	Right now in NYC  we are in a constant environmental and financial
battle with the Giuliani administration. To have disarmed us by suspending
the NYC EXCOM certainly looks like the work of a "fifth Column".

	Please rectify the injustice and help us continue the good fight by
restoring Moishe Blechman, Andy Lawrence and all the other courageous
people so unjustly removed from the EXCOM.