I did not use to have a problem with the Sierra Club, other than some of their fundraising campaigns can be irritating. But now I am going to take a close look at them and groups like them in the future because of something astounding I discovered by accident today.
What am I talking about? Their political endorsements. Who the Sierra Club endorses makes me question everything about them. And I think in a lot of cases non-profits should refrain from endorsing political candidates because eventually their poor judgment is noticed and noted. I respect and prefer non-advocacy or non-political endorsing non-profits.
I was told today that the Sierra Club endorsed Ken Miller for re-election for supervisor. And there it was on his website. And there it was on the Sierra Club Southeastern PA website. Technically it was for the spring when he was still a Republican and not a KenOcrat. Here is what it said:
My goodness one would think the man was a saint . I like the part where they left out his part (and vote) as a West Vincent Township Supervisor in the whole failed eminent domain for private gain land grab of Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show in December, 2011. This was the debacle that cost then Executive Director of the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust Clare Quinn her job. They did not like it when she as a then West Vincent Township Supervisor voted in favor of an eminent domain for private gain land taking. She did not seem to get that when her day job was land preservation/conservation it was a bad idea to vote for a land grab as an elected official with her night job, I guess? Here is an excerpt from the article:
….The board of the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust voted unanimously to end its more-than-five-year relationship with West Vincent Township Supervisor Clare Quinn, said Cary Leptuck, the trust’s board president.
“The board believes that Ms. Quinn’s actions as a West Vincent Township supervisor in condemning the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show grounds represent a fundamental conflict with the trust’s long-standing mission of voluntary land conservation,” he said….This month, Quinn was among the West Vincent supervisors who voted to seize the 33-acre horse show tract by eminent domain, a decision that prompted a widespread outcry that included two politicians, State Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman (D., Chester) and Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello.
The supervisors said they wanted to use the land for a park and ball fields. The horse show could use it as well, they said, but those affiliated with the show questioned the feasibility of that arrangement.
The conservation trust passed a resolution on Dec. 3, “opposing condemnation as a means of land preservation and community access.”
Here is hoping the French and Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust remembers all this and doesn’t endorse Miller this fall…or they will become a land conservation/preservation hyprocrite non-profit too.
So…the Sierra Club. How could they endorse an elected official who every voted for eminent domain? Seriously?
If the Sierra Club can’t do it’s homework, why should people support them? Eminent domain is not exactly beneficial for the planet now is it? (Of course how they tell the tall tale of eminent domain around West Vincent Township today is it was all misunderstood. They were just going to take the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show to “protect it”, they wanted to put a CONSERVATION EASEMENT on it. Yeah sure and I have a bridge they can buy…in Brooklyn.
They can try to dress it up and perfume it and tart it out a few years later, but eminent domain is eminent domain and politicians who vote in favor of such land grabs shouldn’t be endorsed by non-profits that preach a better planet, land conservation and land preservation.
Of course this isn’t the only questionable Sierra Club 2015 political endorsement. Take where I used to live in Lower Merion Township. They endorsed two candidates that are so PRO as in EXCESSIVE development they can’t possibly be green (unless they are nauseous).
Oh ok because she could afford geothermal heating it’s ok to endorse her? As for Manos, he’s done what exactly? Oh yes….like Liz Rogan (because face it they both got placed into office by the same people but that is a longer tale for another time) he has voted for so much development and so many bad pro-developer zoning overlays it is terrifying.
Residents were SO outraged by Liz Rogan being endorsed by The Sierra Club that a flyer went out in the spring:
Here is an excerpt from the BACK of the flyer:
Let’s look at Ms. Rogan’s “green” record as a commissioner and as president of the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners. How has she impacted the LOCAL environment? First, consider her policy of encouraging development in inappropriate places from an environmental perspective. She’s enthusiastically endorsed huge development projects on Rock Hill Road (600 units – 330 being built now and 270 later on) and in the “M” District on the Schuylkill River in a FLOODPLAIN (about 600 units). Neither area is effectively served by public transit. This will bring many more cars, more air pollution and more urban runoff into the waterways. Is this green and environmentally sensitive? Hardly.
….Environmentally alert residents have worried about the continuing degradation of our creeks and streams in both the Mill Creek and Cobbs Creek watersheds. Storm water runoff from impervious surfaces, including roads and parking lots, is a major culprit. Ms. Rogan’s penchant for more impervious
surface through very dense development, in most cases, leads to more blacktop or asphalt parking lots. Is this green? We don’t think so…..
For years, residents have been asking the Township for stronger storm water management regulations and better remediation measures. Efforts to focus Ms. Rogan’s attention on this issue for years have been met with inaction. Now the threat of sanctions from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection – starting in 2018 – has brought about the creation of a storm water advisory “committee” probably too late to save these important waterways as viable streams. This is most definitely not green….
So. Reading all this and knowing about these candidates PRIOR to knowing the Sierra Club endorsed them makes me question the efficacy of the Sierra Club and their moral compass as an organization. After all an endorsement should be made with careful consideration. Not with fluff and nonsense and who do you know and maybe they will get a pretty donation out of it, right?
If you are as incredulous and astounded as I was, here is how you contact the Sierra Club. These are national organization contacts. Obviously there is something wrong with the Southeastern PA Group since they obviously didn’t do their homework.
Anyway here are the contacts:
85 Second Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Fax: 415-977-5797Sierra Club
50 F Street, NW, Eighth Floor
Washington, DC 20001
So the moral of this story is to do the research….you know, like the Sierra Club should have prior to endorsing.
Development isn’t land conservation/preservation. It’s development, a for profit enterprise that gains municipalities a short time high of new ratables.
TDRs (Transferrable Development Rights) are not land conservation/preservation.
Zoning overlays partially designed by and for developers are not land conservation/preservation. They are just another way to shove in development.
True conservation easements don’t need to occur by using eminent domain as a “tool”. Remember, eminent domain is not a helpful tool, but those who utilize it are tools…..
Vote smart no matter where you live this November.
And look for other non-profits to give your money to in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Save your local environment by changing the face of who governs you.