SD Chapter News

Think Globally, Act Locally

An Inconvenient Sequel

While I was visiting family in early May, a favorite aunt (she’s as environmentally passionate as I am) and I saw the trailer for “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power and we clapped and hooted in the movie theater.  We were so excited for this movie to come out.  At the time, I thought in my head, “I would love to put together a group of friends to go see this then have a discussion afterwards about it”.  Well, my dream came true…without me even having to plan it.  In mid-July, our San Diego Sierra Club chapter invited its Chapter Outing Leaders to a pre-screening of Al Gore’s documentary at the Mission Valley AMC theater, two weeks before general release.  It was to be accompanied by a panel discussion afterwards.  I signed up immediately.

The day came, and three friends of mine carpooled down to the screening with me.  We enjoyed the movie about the Climate Crisis (yet to be honest, it’s hard to ‘enjoy’ something that’s scaring you so much about the future of our planet; more on that later), then the speakers for the panel began.  Leaders and representatives from the Sequoia Foundation, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action, and a Gore disciple from his renowned training program spoke to the audience.  They were so passionate, excited, and knowledgeable that it really gave me hope!

If you see the movie and end up wanting to spread the message, there is a PDF or PowerPoint presentation designed to educate in ten minutes at the Climate Reality website called the “Truth in 10“.  If everyone is unable to see the entire documentary, they can at least know the important facts from this.

That same week, a Wilderness Basics Course friend reached out via Facebook asking if anyone wanted to join her for the July 19 Activists Orientation (there was second one held on August 17 too).  After seeing the movie and hearing the speakers, I was in!  I felt like I had to do something but I didn’t know what.  I thought this Orientation may give me some guidance.

Ally and Morgan are the young, friendly co-coordinators for activism in our Chapter.  The Orientation was well-organized and casual, yet very informative.  Presentations were given by many Chapter subcommittees, including the Political Committee and the Conservation Committee.  Even though I’ve been a fairly active member of the Club since 2002, it was a great refresher and I actually learned a lot more than I had known in the first place.

In conclusion, “An Inconvenient Truth” was very interesting but also a bit depressing.  I wanted some better news at the end of the movie, but the panel discussion and the Activists Orientation gave me that better news.  And a plan for moving forward with hope.  There are numerous opportunities within our Chapter for helping out, taking action, informing others, working with local politicians, and affecting change that will shape our future.  It’s a very exciting time and I hope you get involved too!

Jody Stell

About the Author
Jody Stell is a Chapter Outings Leader and Staff member on the Wilderness Basics Course who has kept a Hiking Log since she moved to San Diego and joined the Sierra Club; her favorite was the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  She has Explored and Enjoyed, now she will Protect.

An Evening With Tom Steyer

The mission: strengthen our movement by joining together to discuss, learn, and ask questions about the climate crisis. That’s why SanDiego350 is co-hosting an evening with Tom Steyer on September 7th in San Diego and you’re invited!

Please note: NEW START TIME of PROGRAM IS 6:30 pm (not 7 pm).

Tom is a business leader, activist, and philanthropist who believes we have a moral responsibility to ensure that every family has access to economic opportunity, education, and a healthy climate. He is President of NextGen America, previously NextGen Climate, which he founded in 2013 to prevent climate disaster, promote prosperity, and protect the rights of every American.
Tom has appeared at numerous rallies and conferences to promote action on climate change, including BreakFree LA in 2016.

RSVP now for an evening with Tom Steyer in San Diego to discuss our political moment and how we can fight back.
We’ll discuss the politics of climate change, NextGen America’s work, and how Californians can take effective action. There will be an extensive Q&A period, so please bring your questions.

Tom will be joined by San Diego Council Member Barbara Bry (District 1), who will give an update on implementing a Community Choice Energy program in San Diego in order to meet our goal of 100% clean energy — and how San Diegans can help make it happen.

Here are the details:

What: An evening with Tom Steyer and Council Member Barbara Bry
When: Thursday, Sept. 7 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM (Refreshments and nonprofit tables starting at 6:00)
Where: St. Paul’s Cathedral, 2728 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, 92103 (enter on 5th Ave)
Tickets: Click here to reserve your seat (suggested donation of $10, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds)
We’ll offer refreshments and also host a wide range of cosponsors at informational tables in the courtyard before and after the talk. See RSVP page for more details.

RSVP now as space is limited, and please join and share our Facebook event.

April North County Coastal Group Meeting

North County Coastal Group – Wednesday, April 20
Encinitas Community Center, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

On March 15 several Sierra Club North County Coastal Group members met to discuss North County Coastal local cities overall environmental concerns, issues regarding North Coastal cities Climate Action Plans and  Community Choice Energy possibilities.  It was a great discussion that generated several areas of concern.
Issues identified for Solano Beach included: Enforcement of City environmental policies regarding bag ban and commercial recycling, sea level rise and Solana Beach Climate Action Plan.
For Oceanside issues identified included:  Gregory Canyon, bag ban, habitat conservation plan, coastal development, sea level rise, Buena Vista Lagoon restoration, I 5/78 widening and interchange, protecting local farm land and Oceanside Climate Action Plan.
For Encinitas issues identified included:  Elections opportunity for progressive council membership in November 2016 with four seats open, polystyrene ban, Community Choice Energy, bike lanes, Encinitas Climate Action Plan update, waste and recycling of plastic, education/outreach to community around environmental issues.
For Carlsbad issues identified included:  Open space, water, development, Encina Power Station and Community Choice Energy.
Regional issues identified in addition to the above included focus on Gregory Canyon with its plan for land fill development on top of the areas’ water aquifer, mandates without enforcement, San Onofre waste storage, Community Choice Energy creation of an alternative energy provider with possibility of a Joint Powers Authority for all North County Coastal cities, freeway widening versus regional transportation planning, huge development plans, Palomar Airport expansion, Coastal Commission direction and future of the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan.
It was decided for folks interested in pursuing addressing issues both on a local and regional basis, we would meet again in a month to discuss how we might come together to form a viable group that would be able to tackle some of these major concerns.  For issues specific to Community Choice Energy, it was determined that the Carlsbad Action Team already working with Pete Hasapopoulos of the Sierra Club My Generation program would address specifically those issues.
For the past several years, there has been a North County Coastal Group of the Sierra Club that addressed local issues, provided educational opportunities and a social forum for people who shared the same commitment and dedication to “exploring, enjoying and preserving” the  treasured environment we so cherish in San Diego.  The Sierra Club of San Diego would like to see that the North County Coastal members again have that opportunity to focus on their local issues and function as an active local Sierra Club group under the umbrella of the San Diego Sierra Club with all the backing of the National Sierra Club.
To that end, we have scheduled another meeting at the Encinitas Community Center for Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 6:30-8:30 pm.  We will have a short social time and then plunge in to figure out how we want to proceed to give North County Coastal Sierra Club members the best plan for reestablishing the North County Coastal Sierra Club Group focusing on local issues and raising our effectiveness in using the Sierra Club voice in the North County Coastal area.
For more information, contact Karenlee Robinson at

The Encinitas Community Center is at the intersection of Encinitas Blvd.
and Balour Drive. From I-5, take Encinitas Blvd East to Balour Drive (at
the top of the hill) and turn right, then turn left on Oakcrest Park
Drive. The entrance is off Oakcrest Park drive, just South of Encinitas
Blvd on Balour.

Coaster Meeting – July 21

Coasters (North County Coastal Group) member meeting.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Registration Required before July 19, 2015 5:00 PM
Location: Encinitas Community Center
1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024, USA

Topic: the proposed development at the Strawberry Fields in Carlsbad.

A representative of the developer, Caruso Affiliated, will provide an overview of the proposed project and answer your questions.

This is likely to be a popular topic, so advance registration is required. To sign up, locate the meeting on the activities calendar, or use this direct link. Click the Register button at the top right, and follow the instructions to register.

Our usual meeting room will only hold about 20 people. If registrations exceed that, I will try to arrange for a larger room at the community center.

Since we are limited to a two-hour meeting, we would like to organize the questions, and make sure the most important questions get priority. You may submit up to three questions with your registration. Priority will go to the questions that more people suggest.

San Diego Gala 2016

Gala Celebration & Awards Dinner

June 11, 2016
“Celebrating Partnerships”

Sierra Club San Diego will host its annual Gala Awards Celebration to recognize and commemorate the achievements of community leaders and Sierra Club volunteers who have contributed their time and effort to protecting the environment of our region. The event will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Hilton Harbor Island Hotel, 1960 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, from 6pm – 9:30pm. The event will include a reception from 6pm to 7pm, a silent auction, and dinner and awards program 7pm to 9:30pm.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Partnerships”. The Sierra Club is not alone in fighting for the betterment of our environment.  We stand together with other outstanding organizations that educate, advocate and make significant contributions to insuring San Diego’s treasured environment is enhanced and protected.  The Gala will include the presentation of the Club’s FEAT (Friendly Environmental Action Taken) Awards recognizing organizations whose efforts help protect the environment, foster local solutions to global issues, help communities make sound environmental decisions about their own future and work to raise awareness of and advocate for climate change action.

We will also be celebrating the 60th anniversary of our Wilderness Basics Course.  This ten-week course on hiking, camping and backpacking attracts over 350 students annually where participants are taught skills to safely enjoy the wilderness.  Our goal is to share our knowledge and skills in the safe enjoyment of wilderness areas and to convey a sense of responsibility for maintaining the purity and integrity of the wilderness environment.

Sierra Club San Diego annually recognizes three outstanding individuals, organizations or businesses with a FEAT Award that exemplifies the theme of the Gala.  Being honored with FEAT awards this year are:

  • League of Women Voters of San Diego – in recognition of their work of educating and enabling the citizens of San Diego to act as guardians of the environment by raising awareness and advocating for action through the democratic process.
  • Cleveland National Forest Foundation – in recognition of their commitment to sustainable regional land use planning and advocating for sensible and achievable regional Climate Action Plans.
  • California Solar Energy Industries Association, San Diego Chapter – in recognition of their work raising awareness and advocating for climate change action and in helping the City of San Diego commit to a future of 100% renewable energy.

Our outstanding cadre of volunteers, who make Sierra Club San Diego one of the most impactful environmental organizations in San Diego, will also be recognized.  This year the Chapter will recognize ten awardees for their hard work and dedication.

  • Rookie Activist of the Year – Siyuan Liu and Alejandro (Ale) Montes.  The Rookie Activist Award honors an individual who has recently begun to shine as an activist.  It is vital that, each year, new volunteers keep the Chapter’s tradition of volunteer activism going strong.  This award recognizes the importance of “rookies” to the Chapter.    Both Siyuan and Ale have been student interns and represented the Chapter at the Sierra Student Coalition SPROG, a grassroots leadership training program that teaches tools for environmental and social justice activism to young folks across the country.
  • Outings Leader Award – Lynn Nebus.  The Outings Leader Award recognizes a Chapter Outings leader who has done outstanding work in outdoor leadership and education.  As stated in the Chapter Strategic Plan, the Outings Committee takes the lead in providing safe, enjoyable, and informative outings opportunities.  The first experience with the Chapter of many members and volunteers is on a Chapter outing.  Lynn is a Certified Outings Leader who has been active in the Outings program for over 20

Chapter Outings Leader I Training October 14, 2017

The Sierra Club Statement of Purpose begins, “To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the Earth.” In order to more effectively carry out this purpose, we need you as an outing leader.  To become a Level I Chapter Outing Leader (lead day hikes and car camps) you must:

1. Have been on at least four Sierra Club outings.
2. Be a Sierra Club member.
3. Be at least 18 years of age.
4. Attend the Level I Chapter Outing Leader training class.
5. Obtain a Red Cross Standard First Aid card or equivalent before proceeding to step 6.
6. Plan, publish and execute 2 evaluation outings before November 2018.

The COL1 Training session will be held on October 14, 2017. You will get classroom training on COL practices and policies and, optionally, Standard First Aid training and certification.  For more information on the Standard First Aid training and schedule, go to:

Class size is limited to 15. Sign-up before September 30 by contacting Stefanie Maio at Email:

Next year’s training will take place in May 2018.  Please check back at a later date for details.