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CT Chapter elections

Candidate bios for Connecticut Chapter Executive Committee.

Diane Lentakis:  I am a very passionate environmentalist. I work diligently with the Healthy CT Alliance (HCA), a coalition comprised of several environmental organizations. 2 of our principal goals are to retire the Bridgeport Harbor Station coal-burning plant and encourage revitalization of the site in a manner beneficial to the community.

I am proud of my work with the United Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and other HCA partners in order to ensure a just transition for the plant workers. This challenging/invigorating campaign allows me to work together with Chapter and National members, staff, and other volunteers. I also volunteer for the Beyond Oil Campaign, which aims to move America to a place where innovative green industries provide good jobs and supply 100 percent of our energy needs.

Several times throughout the past few years, I have been successful in organizing (with the assistance of others) out-of-state bus trips to support the above campaigns. As I continue to focus on the above 2 campaigns, I have taken on a new endeavor, to assist with the introduction of the Blue- Green Alliance (Unions and environmental organizations working together for a common good).I look forward to continuing my efforts to protect our environment.

(203) 783-0686 My email address

Marci Wilkins: As an activist I can help the Connecticut Chapter achieve its environmental goals in the following ways.  I can help by continuing to work with the Conservation Committee to choose projects such as the cessation of burning coal in the Bridgeport Power Plant.  We have sponsored and will continue to hold rallies and other events to endlessly apply pressure on the owner of the plant.

This statewide campaign constitutes not only cleaning up the air and water quality of the Bridgeport region but also strengthening energy efficiency and renewable energy.  As Conservation Chair I have testified at state hearings and helped in the mobilization of volunteers. I can help by continuing these efforts and working to involve more volunteers in these activities.  Whether it is fighting to save last bastions of natural landscape such as Plum Island, working as Chair of a local Energy Committee or organizing volunteers to clean up a local river I seek to advance realistic conservation goals.  I would appreciate your support for the Chapter Executive Committee to enable me to continue building member activism, informing our citizens about clean energy and clean water solutions, assisting in fundraising and promoting the spirit and enthusiasm that we all need to carry on these efforts.
(203) 775-9644 My email address

Martin Mador:  I believe that the most important challenge for the Connecticut chapter is to provide opportunities for members to get involved on state issues.  We have state programs for conservation, legislation, politics, Blue Green Alliance, and others. We need our members to help out.   Being a Sierra member is not just about sending checks to San Francisco.  To be the “oldest grassroots environmental organization”, we have to look national staff and  to our grassroots members.  Our clout comes not only from our history and reputation and national campaigns, but from our members speaking up to remind us about the importance of a clean and healthy environment. 

I am on the state chapter ExCom, serving as the full-time volunteer Legislative and Political Chair.  I direct the chapter legislative program to craft and guide important environmental legislation concerning energy, land use, green buildings and schools, water policy, toxics, smart growth, DEEP, transportation, farmland, water, solid waste, wetlands, GMOs, and tax policy.  As Political Chair, I have guided the chapter’s endorsement process for state and federal candidates since 2006.  On the national level, I work with many Sierra staff in DC and San Francisco and the national Political Committee.

(203) 281-4326 My email address

Peter McKnight: 1. What difference would you like to see the Connecticut Chapter make?

1. I'd like to see the Connecticut Chapter spur our elected leaders to make our state the environmental leader for the nation and to save our remaining open spaces.

2. What difference would you make to the Chapter?
I'd like to educate our membership and our elected leaders to compel them to make the changes needed to make Connecticut an environmental leader and a leader in saving open space.
(203) 257-6796 My email address

Martha Klein: I would like to serve on the Executive Committee because I value your work and I want to participate more directly in an organization that I have contributed to for many years. The local Club should continue to address the issues of climate change, cleaner energy, and food engineering. Additionally, there is an opportunity at this time to galvanize the entire state for a clean transportation future. An organization in northwestern Connecticut, The Restore Railway NWCT Campaign, has been lobbying the state government and working with people in Massachusetts to restore train service from Danbury to the Massachusetts border.

Meanwhile, the environmentally catastrophic Busway is going forward, despite the fact that it will significantly increase pollution, asthma, and cancer in the areas through which it will travel, and will increase bus/train accidents. The moment is opportune to bring various frustrated advocates together and create an interstate and regional movement for clean transportation. I am an ideal candidate for the ExCom, because I am experienced in working for environmental non-profits, I am passionate and dedicated to our environment, I have the knowledge, the organization and the time, and I have a great sense of humor.

(860) 542-5225 My email address

C. Thomas Paul: I would like to see the Connecticut Chapter of the Sierra Club grow its membership and get young people involved with the environment and our chapter projects.  I have been working on Environmental issues for more than 30 years.  Seventeen years ago I joined the Sierra Club because I was concerned about the lost of the old growth forest and protecting the wilderness across the country.  Locally I am concerned about sprawl, clean energy, protecting Long Island Sound, our part in global warming and how to get young children more in contact with the outdoors and the environment. 

I am a member of the Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club Executive Committee since 2001, currently the chapter CCL rep, environmental comm., Shoreline Group conservation chair and treasurer.  National I am on the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act Committee.  I help run coastal sand dune restoration and coastal clean ups on the Connecticut shoreline.  For the last 30 years I have been on a town land use boards and serve as a director on the Madison Land Conservation Trust board. 
(203) 421-5612 My email address

Rick Haeseler: I grew up and lived in CT until my family and I moved to Missouri in 1993.While in Missouri (MO) I became active in Sierra Club and was MO Chapter Political Chair as well as a member of both the Chapter EXCOM and Conservation Committee. We returned to CT in 2009 and I currently am Vice Chair of both the Greater Hartford Group and the Chapter Political Committee. My prime concerns are:

-Endorsement and election of environmentally strong candidates.

-Offering more varied activities to increase member involvement.

-Creative fundraising to make up for National Sierra Club funding cuts.

 I’d like to bring my point of view to the EXCOM and I’d appreciate your support.