|As your chapter or group joins forces with other organizations, keep
in mind that the Sierra Club has rules that govern our participation in
coalitions and affiliations with other groups; approval to enter into a
formal coalition is required from the national Club.
A formal coalition has a name, includes other organizations as members
and may have bylaws or a letter of agreement. For example, the Sierra Club
recently joined Health Care Without Harm, a coalition formed to promote
pollution-prevention practices in health-care organizations. Other member
organizations include Greenpeace, Physicians for Social Responsibility
and the AFL-CIO. On the local level, to protect and preserve the habitat
of Sacramento County, Calif., the Sacramento Group has joined with the
local Audubon Society, the Urban Creeks Council, the Save the American
River Association and other community groups to form the Habitat 2020 Committee.
An informal coalition, on the other hand, is an ad hoc group of organizations
that have come together for a short-term purpose for example, a listing
of organizations supporting a position, signing onto a letter or holding
a press conference. Approval is not needed for informal coalitions.
There are two instances when an affiliation is not appropriate: if the
other organization might make statements endorsing or opposing the candidacy
of someone for elective office or if the coalition wishes to represent
the Club in litigation.
For more information on affiliations, the application process
or for copies of the affiliation request form, contact Michael Lynch at (415)