FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Clorox Coup

by BETSY ROBERTS And KAREN ORR

The National Sierra Club Board of Directors voted on March 25, 2008 to dismantle the entire democratically -elected structure of the Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club, the fourth largest Chapter in the nation.

The Florida Chapter, comprising 35,000 individual members representing 5% of Sierra’s National membership, was usurped in an unprecedented and appalling coup.

The sacking of 27 elected representatives and removal of 75 volunteer appointees, 24 Issue Committees – over 150 state-level positions in all – constitutes the main carnage of the March 25th Massacre.

They are all now gone – dismissed in one fell swoop by National’s decision.

The National bureaucracy manufactured the convenient local dissent to serve as a pretense for  swatting our Chapter leadership out of their way.  They found the Chapter’s scrutiny of their policies inconvenient.

It was inconvenient to justify their devotion to  ill-advised biofuels schemes.

It was inconvenient to justify their Clorox-like promotion of more commercial products (the backbone of their announced $500 million dollar fundraising campaign) authorized in an unannounced board decision just days before the Florida suspension.

And it was really inconvenient and annoying to put up with local resistance to the stampede toward  National control of Sierra activities in Florida.

Thus, the passion, expertise and devotion of the many democratically elected local volunteers was deemed inconvenient and disposable, replaced by an “Executive Committee” of 5 National officers.  This absentee “brain trust” has wrested control of approximately $200,000 of the Chapter’s funds, along with control of Florida Sierra programs.

With this one visionary act, the Chapter’s various conservation, political and legal programs have ground to a halt under this absentee control.

But a far greater price is to be exacted in the incalculable damage to the greater cause of conservation — damage recklessly inflicted to the reputation and credibility of Sierra Club, eviscerating the effectiveness of the very members and volunteers who stand in the front lines of the struggle to protect some vestige of Florida’s remaining natural systems.

It is telling that the National Sierra Club is disbanding this hard-working and successful team of volunteers and grassroots conservationists even as National eagerly pursues its unsavory new focus on lucrative revenues from corporate donations.

The process of the investigation of the Florida Chapter by National staff was scandalous.  There was no fair play involved.

The investigation was based on unfounded accusations, vague and unsubstantiated claims, advanced on a patchwork of hearsay, obscured by anonymity and cloaked in secrecy.  The Chapter, leaders, and volunteers were denied the precious and essential American rights to due process – to be able to face their accusers, and to have a fair hearing based on facts.

National Sierra Club President Robert Cox continues to roll out his tawdry collection of unsupported statements in his letter to Grist posted by the National Sierra Club press office.

Robert Cox is queasy about this because he knows that these Florida Sierrans have unfairly been personally attacked, maligned and slandered before the state and the entire nation.  He knows that public scrutiny will expose the actions of the National Sierra Club as contemptuous of basic American rights, and of the Club’s own code of conduct.

The National board has destroyed the largest and most effective environmental organization in Florida.  For that, Robert Cox owes an apology.

Betsy Roberts is former Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club Chairwoman.

Karen Orr is former Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club Political Committee Chairwoman.

They can be reached at: thibeau48@bellsouth.net

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
Stratos Ramoglou
Why the Greek Economic Crisis Won’t be Ending Anytime Soon
David Price
The 2016 Tour of California: Notes on a Big Pharma Bike Race
Dmitry Mickiewicz
Barbarous Deforestation in Western Ukraine
Rev. William Alberts
The United Methodist Church Up to Its Old Trick: Kicking the Can of Real Inclusion Down the Road
Patrick Bond
Imperialism’s Junior Partners
Mark Hand
The Trouble with Fracking Fiction
Priti Gulati Cox
Broken Green: Two Years of Modi
Marc Levy
Sitrep: Hometown Unwelcomes Vietnam Vets
Lorenzo Raymond
Why Nonviolent Civil Resistance Doesn’t Work (Unless You Have Lots of Bombs)
Ed Kemmick
New Book Full of Amazing Montana Women
Michael Dickinson
Bye Bye Legal High in Backwards Britain
Missy Comley Beattie
Wanted: Daddy or Mommy in Chief
Ed Meek
The Republic of Fear
Charles R. Larson
Russian Women, Then and Now
David Yearsley
Elgar’s Hegemony: the Pomp of Empire
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail