The 2024 election cycle looms large on the horizon, with the California Primary just eight months away. In this pivotal time, the Sierra Club is gearing up to support environmental champions and combat polluter-backed candidates across the state of California. As part of this mission, we recently celebrated our 16th annual Sierra Club Political Leadership Awards fundraiser, an event that embodies our commitment to equity, democracy, and sustainability.
The 2023 Sierra Club Political Leadership Awards fundraiser was held on Sunday, August 13 at the Norma Hertzog Community Center in Costa Mesa, CA. The annual event, organized by the Angeles Chapter, plays a vital role in fueling the California Sierra Club Political Action Committee (PAC). The theme for this year's ceremony was "Equity, Democracy, Sustainability," a poignant reminder of the interdependence between environmental stewardship, democratic values, and a sustainable future.
We were honored to present awards to individuals who have consistently championed environmental protection in California:
Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, currently serving on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, has made poverty alleviation and equity a countywide priority. She has led efforts to phase out urban oil drilling and improve the County's response to mental health crises among unhoused residents. Her dedication to her constituents and the environment is truly commendable.
Rep. Judy Chu and Chapter Chair Dyana Peña
Rep. Judy Chu made history as the first Asian woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009. Her work on public lands, including the establishment of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, showcases her tireless advocacy for our environment. Rep. Chu is a strong advocate for fighting climate change, investing in clean energy, and opposing harmful oil and gas drilling.
Councilmember Dan Kalmick and Chapter Chair Dyana Peña
Councilmember Dan Kalmick, elected to the Huntington Beach City Council in 2020, has a deep commitment to public service. His focus on protecting the economy, expanding housing options, and addressing homelessness challenges reflects his dedication to improving the lives of his constituents and the environment.
OC Supervisor Katrian Foley, Patricia Jovel (PJ) Flores of OCEJ, and Dyana Peña
Orange County Environmental Justice (OCEJ) is a dynamic environmental justice organization dedicated to mobilizing and empowering marginalized community members in Orange County. Their innovative programs and political action efforts have earned them recognition and respect in the environmental justice community.
Councilmember Ronaldo Fierro and Councilmember Arlis Reynolds
Riverside City Council Members, including Mayor Pro-Tem Ronaldo Fierro, Councilmembers Erin Edwards, Clarissa Cervantes, and Steve Hemenway, have taken bold steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their city. Their commitment to building electrification is a significant stride towards environmental sustainability and public health.
A Bright Future for Environmental Advocacy
This year's fundraiser was a tremendous success, raising $19,000 for the CA Sierra Club PAC. These funds will play a crucial role in supporting candidates dedicated to environmental protection and sustainability as we approach the 2024 election season.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to our honorees, sponsors, event underwriters, the Orange County Political Committee, and the dedicated fundraiser planning team led by Margee Hills. We also want to express our gratitude to the Norma Hertzog Community Center and the City of Costa Mesa for hosting us and Costa Mesa Councilmember Arlis Reynolds for her fantastic job as master of ceremonies.
As we look ahead, we invite you all to join us on the ground as we continue our mission to elect leaders who will work tirelessly for a just and environmentally healthy future. Together, we can make a difference, forging a path toward a more sustainable and equitable California.