Join the Sierra Club Secret Society – elections are underway now!

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Voting is open from October 4 to November 15. Members of the Angeles section will receive information on how to vote on or around October 4th.

The fate of the Sierra Club is in your hands. Apathy turns the Sierra Club, once known for its inclusion and a large fan base, into a secret society. In rough numbers, we have about 100,000 supporters in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Of these supporters, only 40% have enough interest to pay the annual membership fee of $ 15 and be an “official member”. This means that there are approximately 40,000 members eligible to vote in the elections that determine the direction and priorities of our section. Among them, on the basis of previous years, about 500 will make the effort to vote. This would suggest that only 1.25% of our members are ready to legitimize our Chapter leadership and less than 0.5% of Southern California environmental supporters.

Does it make a difference? Can’t the Sierra Club fulfill its mission without my vote?

It makes a difference on many fronts

1) Without your vote, the evolution of a secret society with the Sierra Club is inevitable. For example, I have over 6,000 connections on LinkedIn – not just blind followers, but connections made up mostly of people I’ve had some engagement with over the year. For example, I send between 4 and 8 birthday notes every day. If I convinced only ten percent of my connections to join the Sierra Club and vote on my suggestions, then I would have created my own personal secret society within the Sierra Club. Apathy has already created de facto secret societies within the Chapter and within the National Sierra Club, as apathy allows decision making to become opaque.

Whether it is a section entity or a government agency, behavior at meetings changes when there are observers or when those involved in daily life are alone. It is human nature, and it is the main reason why those interested in the environment should be involved.

The good news is that when many of us are involved, the workload is less. If twelve people are interested in an issue, only one needs to observe a meeting as a stranger once a month. The individual charge is to observe only one meeting per year.

2) Without your vote, the legitimacy of the Sierra Club is in question. The reason our organization is so focused on going out is that most people don’t understand the importance of the environment without seeing it with their own eyes. Therefore, if the three words of our motto: Explore, Enjoy and Protect, two of the three are focused on the public’s commitment to the beauty and relevance of the environment. Our constituency is made up of people who want to explore and enjoy the outdoors, whether it is a garden, a neighborhood park or a national forest.

The power of this constituency lies in the fact that the environment is protected by four activities: a show in figures through a petition or participation, a show in numbers in the voting booth, the financing of an action in justice and the financing of political influence. Those of our leaders involved in protecting the environment and promoting sustainability are few. They depend on their ability to represent the voices of thousands or a hundred thousand. Apathy takes the oxygen of the room, it’s hard to argue that one represents the opinion of 100,000 environmentally conscious people in Southern California when less than 500 believe enough in the organization. to vote. Should a government agency, politician, or developer believe the leader is the voice of 1,000,000 or just view the leader as the voice of 500?

3) As mentioned, the power of the Sierra Club comes from its effectiveness in the four activities by which most environmental problems are solved – a numbers show through petition or participation, a numbers show in l ‘voting booth, funding for legal action, and funding for political influence. Two of these actions require people and the actions of people. If you want to personally volunteer your time, we need your help as a volunteer, but if you want to make a difference and don’t have the time, then vote in our Chapter election – your vote gives legitimacy to volunteers who volunteer their time.

Out of 100,000 supporters, there are only hundreds of actively engaged volunteers each month and less than 100 leaders among them. These leaders need the legitimacy of your vote. Without the legitimacy of individual participation, then money will become the Sierra Club’s preferred tool. Money can fund legal actions and political campaigns, but money suppresses the voice of individuals and empowers particular interests – the Sierra Club risks becoming a glorified special interest political action committee that simply offers wellness outings as a public relations effort.

4) What if I don’t like any of the candidates on the slate? The solution is not apathy. The solution is to participate in the election and not vote for someone you don’t want to vote for. Think about it. If 4,000 people vote and all the candidates get only 500 votes each, our nominating team will figure out how to improve the process. We will improve. However, if only 500 votes and each candidate gets 500 votes, we’ll assume that everyone liked each of the candidates.

As noted at the top of the article, the fate of the Sierra Club is literally in your hands. Simply open the email with your ballot and vote for leadership in your local group and for the four open “At Large” seats on the Chapter Executive Committee. Your local group leadership also has a seat on the executive committee, which is the group of volunteer leaders responsible for making all branch decisions and representing the section in national issues through other Sierra Club entities.

Voting is open from October 4 to November 15. Members of the Angeles section will receive information on how to vote on or around October 4th.


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