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The Planet
March 1999 Volume 6, Number 2

Club Beat

by John Byrne Barry

I Love NY Garbage

"Give me liberty or give me death, but don't give me New York trash." So said a Virginia man calling himself Patrick Henry and wearing a ruffled shirt and a black three-cornered Colonial hat.

Virginia, second only to Pennsylvania in importing trash, has seven mega-landfills that accept 4 million tons of trash annually, much of it from New York.

After calling upon fellow Virginians to declare their independence from out-of-state garbage, Virginia Chapter Director Glen Besa, along with Chapter Chair Jim Wright and Conservation Chair Jay Kardan, announced the first "I Love New York Garbage" Awards. The two winners were lobbyists for Waste Management, Inc. and the Virginia Waste Industry Association.

"No one, not even our friends, thought we would win," says Oakes.

In a Fog, Sierra Club Leaders Plan Future

On the last weekend in January, in the foggy, drizzly mountains of West Virginia, more than 100 Club volunteers and staff met to map out campaign plans for the next two years. After participating in an accelerated version of the Sierra Club Training Academy, Club activists gathered by campaign committee and, using the campaign planning matrix (see page 3), planned their campaigns for the next two years.

On Sunday, the fog lifted and everything became clear.

"We're off to an astounding start," said Conservation Director Bruce Hamilton. "By the first week in February, all eight campaigns have solid draft plans, budgets, timelines, strategies, etc. We've never been this prepared this early before."

Leading the Way

Before the West Virginia training, committee chairs were chosen to lead the charge for each of the Club's priority campaigns. Here are the pertinents:

Challenge to Sprawl
Larry Bohlen, Maryland
(301) 445-1548

Tim Frank, California
(510) 526-6586

Wildlands Protection and Restoration
Mark Pearson, Colorado
(970) 259-6181

Water Quality
Ross Vincent, Colorado
(719) 561-3117

End Commercial Logging on Federal Lands
Bernie Zaleha, Idaho
(208) 342-1717

Ron Weisen, Pennsylvania
(610) 328-3936

Trade/Human Rights
Joanne Lesher, Washington, D.C.
(202) 662-1894

Population Lobby Days

Population activists from the Club and its allies will converge on Washington March 6-9 for the third annual "Capitol Hill Days," a weekend training and lobbying event in support of international family-planning funding.

After a day of workshops on the salient issues and training on how to lobby effectively, activists will meet with their legislators to push for increased funding for family-planning and reproductive-health programs.

Other sponsors of the weekend are Zero Population Growth, National Wildlife Federation and National Audubon Society.

For those who can't make it to Washington, the Club will host a national call-in day to legislators on Monday, March, 8, International Women's Day. The calls will be in support of increased funding for domestic and international family planning (without restrictions), and full funding of the United Nations Population Fund.

For more information, contact Jennifer Kurz at (202) 547-1141 or

Thanks, Alita

The only time we ever seem to run photos of The Planet staff is when they leave. Unfortunately, that's the occasion for this one as well.

After more than 10 years at the Sierra Club, Alita Wilson, director of the Office of Volunteer and Activist Services, left the Club in December to raise her new son, Peter. Alita was a guiding force of Project ACT, the Sierra Club Training Academy, the ANSEL activist list system, The Planet and other essential volunteer and activist tools and programs. She gave tirelessly of herself for the last decade, and we miss her.

Julia Reitan, formerly a regional representative based in Seattle, Wash., has been hired to fill the OVAS director position.

Go on to the next article, "'Just Bait' or 'One of God's Creatures.'"
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