Are you interested or active in local politics? The Chapter Political Committee may be right for you! The Political Committee is a group of Sierra Club volunteers who share an interest in the political process and who recognize the importance of an informed voter public as a critical element in our efforts to protect our wild areas.
The purpose of the Chapter Political Committee is to help the Chapter in its efforts to preserve the environment through nonpartisan grassroots political action. The Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Chapter Executive Committee to support or oppose local candidates for elected office and positions on local ballot measures and initiatives. Political Committee activities include evaluating political issues and positions, planning and conducting the endorsement and support of candidates for public office, and developing and leading the efforts necessary for those processes.
Political Committee members are appointed by the Chapter Executive Committee and serve for a term of three (3) years.
The Committee’s goal is to have no less than 9 voting members. The committee can still conduct business if below that number but will continue to make a diligent effort to recruit Committee members. Prospective members must have been a member of the Sierra Club in good standing for at least one year prior to appointment and have participated in no fewer than two (2) Political Committee meetings in the 12 months preceding the application for voting membership.
Sierra Club members do not have to be voting members to participate in the Political Committee’s work and activities. Only voting members may participate in final deliberations and political action decisions.
The Committee meets monthly on the second Thursday at 7pm at the Chapter office. Meeting become more frequent as the political season heats up. The Political Committee membership application can be found here or by contacting the Chapter office.
Selection Criteria for Voting Membership on the Committee
- Be a Sierra Club member in good standing for at least one year prior to appointment.
- Participated in least two (2) Political Committee meetings within 12 months prior to applying.
- Be supportive of Sierra Club purposes and goals.
- Ability to work with diverse group of volunteers, staff and be part of a team.
- Ability to keep an open mind about what action (if any) the Club should take in an election, regardless of personal preference.
- Able to attend Political Committee meetings held monthly and other committee meetings and activities as necessary to achieve the goals of the Political Committee.
- Actively participate in the endorsement process and activities for target candidate campaigns.
- Be willing to take leadership roles and meet deadlines.
- Be conscientious about reading correspondence and e-mail.
- Able to participate in assembling information on candidates through review of legislative records, questionnaires, interviews, past Sierra Club contact, and assessment of the campaign.
- Willingness to become familiar with and to follow the Sierra Club Political Committee Compliance Guidelines.
- Able to support political action decisions, even if you may have disagreed.
- Willingness to learn about environmental issues important to the Club.
- Be willing to avoid even the appearance of partisan sympathies during the pre-endorsement process of examining candidates.
- Ability to act in the best interest of the Sierra Club if a member or leader in another organization.
- Completed Membership application.
How the Sierra Club’s Endorsement Process Works
The Sierra Club leverages the power of our networks of volunteers and members to help elect environmental candidates. The Sierra Club sees the importance of having environmental champions at all levels of elected office. To ensure the Sierra Club only endorses the best environmental candidates, our volunteers and staff have developed a multi-step process and criteria for selecting which candidates receive our support. Each of our endorsements are voted on by two committees made up of volunteers. Volunteers examine each candidate’s record and distribute questionnaires to all candidates to fill out. The questionnaire responses are then evaluated, and interviews with candidates are conducted. Throughout our process, volunteers evaluate the environmental and public health records of candidates, their electability and their propensity to be a true champion on our issues.
Sierra Club San Diego’s tax exemption status – 501(c)(4) – allows us to make recommendations for candidates and ballot measures in the San Diego region.
2018 STATE LEGISLATORS REPORT CARD
Want to see how your state legislator voted? 2018 Score Card