Sierra Club

We Need Your Help to Keep D.C Streetcars on Track! -- November 17th

DC Street Cars, Flickr Creative Commons The D.C. Council's Committee on Public Works and Transportation (Councilmember Jim Graham, Chairman) will hold a public hearing on November 17th at 2 p.m. to consider a resolution that would approve the District Department of Transportation's recently submitted DC Streetcar System Plan.

The public roundtable will be held at the John A. Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Room 412 (map)  The Council must approve the plan before DDOT may receive $34.5 million of the roughly $50 million in capital funds the Council approved for streetcars in May.

A Sierra Club representative will testify at the hearing. However, we need more Sierra Club members and streetcar advocates to testify in support of the streetcar plan so that DDOT can keep streetcars "on track" and begin streetcar service on H Street and Benning Road NE by Spring 2012, as planned.

Would you like to testify?
If you are interested in testifying, please contact April Hawkins-Mason by email or at (202)724-8195 and request to be added to the witness list. Requests must be made no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15th. Individuals will be given three minutes to present oral testimony.

Never testified before, need advice?
For those who have never testified at a D.C Council committee hearing or who would like advice about how to testify, the Chapter's Transportation Committee is holding a testimony prep session on Tuesday, Nov. 16th, at 6 p.m. at SOVA Espresso and Wine (upstairs), 1359 H St., NE (map). Experienced chapter leaders will guide you through the hearing process and give one-on-one assistance to help you feel confident about testifying.

If you are unable to testify in person but still want to help support streetcars, you may submit written testimony for the official hearing record by emailing it to April Hawkins-Mason no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17th.

Join the Sierra Club at the Rally Against Toxic Coal Ash -- November 17th

1.54 million children run the risk of developing cancer, organ disease, respiratory illnesses, neurological problems and other serious health issues because they live near one of the nearly 2,000 highly toxic coal ash waste sites nationwide! Coal ash contains dangerous levels of arsenic, mercury, and other toxins, yet it is legally treated the same as household garbage by the federal government. Right now, the EPA has the opportunity to provide stronger protection for the children and families who live near these sites.

Join Sierra Club on Wednesday Nov. 17th at 10:30 a.m. in front of EPA's headquarters to show the coal industry that putting our children's health at risk is unacceptable. Click here for more info and to join us on Wednesday!

Call for nominations for the 2011-2012 Executive Committee extended to December 3rd

The D.C Chapter is looking for environmental leaders who want to serve on the Chapter's Executive Committee. This is a great opportunity to share and build your leadership skills as you help provide strategic direction for the chapter and participate actively in one or more critical areas such as membership, fundraising, event planning, volunteer engagement, communications, etc. Volunteer work with the chapter is a plus. We are a small chapter, and the ExComm functions as a "working board." Terms are 2 years, beginning in Jan. 2011. Average time commitment is 10-15 hours a month. 

If you would like to nominate yourself, or you would like more information, contact Gwyn Jones. Nominations close Dec. 3rd.

Cool D.C and Cut Coal Event a Success!

DC vols Shefaali Desai, left, and Jon Erickson, rightThe D.C Chapter's Cool D.C and Cut Coal event on October 27th drew over 70 people eager to learn about the connections between energy use and destructive mining practices in Appalachia.  

Organized by the Chapter's Energy Committee and hosted by the George Washington University Law School, the event included exhibitors and speakers to educate D.C residents on the links between their energy use and mountaintop removal mining, how to reduce energy use in the home as well as shift to sustainable energy sources. Speakers also discussed opportunities to advance economic equity, and the local Sierra Club campaign to shutter the Mirant Potomac River Coal Plant in Alexandria.  Before and after the main program, people had the chance to meet with local green vendors and organizations to talk one-on-one. (Photo at right: Energy Committee volunteers Shefaali Desai (left) and Jon Erickson (right) talk to a forum attendee.)

Speakers at Cool D.C and Cut Coal included: Lauren Glickman, Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Mark Kresowic and Phillip Ellis, National Sierra Club Coal Campaign; Filipe Witchger, D.C Project; Anya Schoolman, Mt. Pleasant Solar Coop; Kristopher-Jamaal Clemmons, Esquire, Founder, Respirit Group, LLC. D.C Chapter Conservation Chair Jim Dougherty provided introductory remarks, and Energy Committee Chair Larry Martin briefed attendees on the Energy Committee's goal to make D.C a leader in moving residents and businesses away from fossil fuels to a sustainable energy model.

Over a dozen people have already expressed interest in getting involved. Chapter members are encouraged to contact committee chair Larry Martin to learn more. Check out pictures of the event in our Facebook album.

Save the Date: Chapter Annual Holiday Party Slated for December 6th!

It's that time of year, and we hope you'll be able to join us for the Chapter's annual Holiday Party on Monday, Dec. 6th, from 6:30-9 p.m. at Harriet's, 436 11th St. NW, Metro Center (Map). It's a great chance to meet and chat with chapter leaders and other Sierra Club members and supporters as we celebrate the year and all of you who make the Chapter a success.

More details will be coming soon. To RSVP, email Debby Cooney.

Will You Be My National Monument? Host a House Party in Celebration of the Arctic!

Polar BearsHelp Sierra Club celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge! Hold a house party on Saturday, Nov. 20th (the dates are flexible if you can't do that day) and join us in asking President Obama to make it final - declare the Arctic a National Monument!

As a house party host you will:

  • Create your house party online using the link above.
  • Invite guests (we will also be doing national outreach for attendees. If your party is signed up using our tool people will be able to search for your house party and sign up online).
  • Watch the film and sign the 50th anniversary card to President Obama (and the Arctic!).
  • Report back -- let us know how it went.

So, click here and sign up to host a house party -- or see who's having one near you and plan to attend! If you have any questions about house parties, please email Sierra Club events.

Thanks to all our Greenfest Volunteers!

GreenFest 2010 TablingDuring the 2010 Green Festival Oct. 23rd-24th volunteers turned out to help staff the Sierra Club's exhibit booth. D.C Chapter staffer Amanda Brinton coordinated the event, in which three chapters (DC, MD, VA) participated.

The booth was bustling for two days solid. At right, D.C Chapter volunteer Kathy Robertson (pointing) talks to a GreenFest attendee about the region's dependency on coal for its energy.

The question we asked was: how many elephants worth of coal does the DC/MD/VA region use every day, assuming an elephant weighs 5 tons. Answer 11,000 elephants! So we have a lot of work to do!

Upcoming Chapter Events and Activities

Here are some of the upcoming Chapter activities and events. For more info and additional events and activities, visit the D.C Chapter calendar on our website.

  • Nov. 16th, 6 p.m. - Testimony Prep Session for Streetcar Hearings
  • Nov. 17th, 10:30 a.m. - Rally Against Toxic Coal Ash
  • Nov. 17th, 2 p.m. - D.C Council Public Works Committee Hearings on Streetcars
  • Nov. 18th, 6:30 p.m. - D.C Chapter Energy Committee Meeting
  • Dec. 6th, 6:30 p.m. - D.C Chapter Annual Holiday Party
  • Dec. 7th, 7 p.m. - D.C Chapter Transportation Committee Meeting
  • Dec. 8th, 7 p.m. - D.C Chapter Executive Committee Meeting

Interested in Outings? Visit the Outings page on our website to find out more.


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Sierra Club - Washington D.C. Chapter
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Washington, DC, 20009
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