Election is ‘super critical’ for this Political Committee volunteer

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team

With the national election just days away, getting the right people elected into office is “super critical,” says Will Walters, a volunteer with Rocky Mountain Chapter’s (RMC) Political Committee.

Will Walters
Will Walters.

Like other Sierra Club members, Will knows how critical it is to elect the best candidates, whose votes will determine our environmental future. This is why he joined the Political Committee─to be part of the process of endorsing appropriate candidates from Sierra Club’s point of view.

“A lot of environmental protection can and must be accomplished in the political legislative arena, to preserve wilderness and habitat and mandate air and water quality and other things,” Will says. “Conversely, a lot of damage can be done there when politicians sell out to monied interests who want to exploit the environment.”

A member of Sierra Club since 1995 and also a member of the Poudre Canyon Group (PCG), Will has focused his volunteer work not only on politics, but also on sustainable living choices and outings.

In addition to his work on the Political Committe, during his 17 years with the club, the Fort Collins resident has served in top leadership positions (chair and co-chair) of the RMC Executive Committee. He has also served as a PCG newsletter editor and outings leader.

Accomplishments and passions

Will’s favorite accomplishment in his Sierra Club volunteer work was in the 1990s, helping save the fledgling City of Fort Collins Wind Power Pilot Program by planning and executing a successful Sierra Club PCG campaign to enroll hundreds of members.

However, on a day-to-day basis, Will’s greatest passion is seeking, finding and implementing sustainable living options for food, transportation, housing, energy, and solid waste. “My challenge is reducing my footprint and helping others to reduce theirs,” he states, emphasizing that he likes to “push the envelope.”

Will Walters atop Greyrock Mountain
Will Walters atop Greyrock Mountain.

One of the ways he pushes this envelope is driving an all-electric car and a small-electric scooter. He also grows organic tomatoes and peaches and gets into the kitchen, himself, to make these homegrown foods into healthy goodies.

Has his Sierra Club volunteer work and goals ever felt like “too much?” “Sometimes I do see ‘volunteer burnout,’” he said. “People come, dig in and then get burned out, and I hate to see that.”

He also feels frequent frustration with society in general when it comes to environmental awareness and commitment.

“The lack of awareness of environmental impacts and the lack of desire and will to make the environment a priority are things that bug me,” Will states. “But the most alarming thing is the movement, by what seems like about half the country, toward this fundamental dismissal of facts and scientific reasoning and buying into the rhetoric that rationalizes corporations into people and money into speech.”

Always moving forward

But his concerns don’t ever stop him from moving forward with his plans and goals related to improving the environment. A computer information systems specialist, Will is considering creating a website, similar to Craigslist or Angie's List, where sustainable options by locale would be available.

The site would list local sources of green building supplies, bike services, farmers’ markets locations, bus routes, renewable energy options offered by local utilities and more. “I want it to be a community contribution thing, like a Wikipedia for everybody to put in information but in a smartly organized easy-to-access paradigm,” he said.

An active outdoorsman, Will runs several times a week along the Poudre River in Fort Collins or in other natural areas close to places he travels for work purposes. “Over the past year I've explored some amazing places, including trails and beaches in the Southeast,” he said.

Will Walters backpacking with daugher Olivia
Will Walters backpacking with daugher Olivia.

Although his out-of-state work assignments have recently kept him far from home, he plans to participate in more Club outings in the future. He also enjoys outdoors experiences with his family. “I love getting out with my kids, especially, and most of my recent camping trips have been with one or more of them.”

Any other plans for the future? “My biggest goal is to get my workload back down into balance so I can spend more time on advocacy, outings and education,” Will concludes, adding that he will always remain a member of Sierra Club because he “loves exploring, enjoying and protecting the environment with like-minded souls.”


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