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Maryland Chapter Excom Election
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Democracy is a tradition in the Sierra Club, beginning with our election of at-large members of the executive committee

This issue of Chesapeake includes the ballot for electing members of the executive committee of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club. 

The Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental organization that elects its own leadership. Every member is entitled to vote and to run for leadership positions in the club.  The executive committee (excom) runs the Chapter and determines  the Chapter’s policies and responses to the many environmental challenges we face in Maryland. In addition to working our legislative agenda, setting priorities for conservation campaigns, and facilitating communication between the Chapter and the groups, the excom faces the challenge of achieving fiscal stability despite rising operational costs and a reduction in funds from the national club.

The excom comprises six at-large members elected by the Maryland membership, and one delegate from each of our nine groups. At-large members are elected for two-year terms. Three of the six at-large positions are up for election each year. The executive committee elects the Chapter chair and other officers from its own ranks. 

Maryland Sierra Club members are encouraged to read the candidates’ statements, fill out the ballot and mail it to the Chapter office at this address:
Elections Committee
Maryland Chapter/Sierra Club
Suite 101A
7338 Baltimore Ave.
College Park, Maryland 20740-3211. 

The excom meets six times a year on the third Saturday of every odd month. Those elected will take their position at the January 20, 2007 meeting.  Ballots are due in the office by January 12, 2007. Please read the candidates’ statements carefully and vote in this election for members-at-large for the Executive Committee of your Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club.         

Candidates’ Statements


Bonnie Bick

Bonnie Bick has been active in and concerned about politics in many ways for more than 15 years.  Since 1990 she has been a visible environmental activist in Maryland, and played a major role in getting the state of Maryland to acquire Chapman Forest—2300 acres of old-growth forest along the Potomac River in southern Maryland.

Over the last seven years she has been deeply involved in the Campaign to Reinvest in the Heart of Oxon Hill—an environmental, economic ,and social justice campaign focused on affecting the evolution of the largest commercial development project in Maryland’s history in a way that will benefit the public.  She is a resourceful on-the-ground activist, experienced in making decisions and providing support.  She is asking for your vote to become an at-large member of the Sierra Club, Maryland Chapter. 


Jon Robinson

I am running for the Maryland Chapter Executive Committee because I believe there is still value in being the voice that points out the inconvenient truth: that all of our efforts to protect the environment will fail if we do not stop growth.  If we do the arithmetic we can see that if the population doubles, people must cut their use of resources in half for the impact to be the same as if there were half as many: half as much space for living, half as much energy use, half as much food.  With the U.S. population growing at a little over 1% per year, we will reach that doubling point in less than 70 years.  Today, the U.S. is already the third most populous nation in the world, after China and India!

As the late Garrett Hardin pointed out, there are potholes all around the world, but we do not speak of a global pothole problem.  The same is true for population growth.  The impact is greatest at the location where the growth occurs: clearing increasing tracts of land for housing and infrastructure further and further away from jobs, clearing forests for crops, mining minerals for ever more commodities, and so on.

I have been active in the Sierra Club since the 1980’s, serving as chair of the Prince George’s Group for many years and as chair of the Maryland Chapter for 3 years.  Over the years, I have seen less willingness in the Club to deal with the difficult question of growth, and a preference for dealing with the symptoms, such as fighting a highway here or a subdivision there. Efforts are made to alleviate symptoms of growth by trying to get more people to live in  high-density urban areas with insufficient thought for the effect on the residents already living there.

I believe my science background, a Ph.D. in Systematics & Ecology, and years of leadership in environmental activism give me a valuable, if not always popular, perspective on our environmental challenges.  If you agree, I ask for your vote.  As I write this (October 25th,) I am on a plane to Antarctica to serve as a volunteer photographer for a Smithsonian-sponsored scientific project.  (Google Smithsonian and “Antarctic expedition” to find out more—so you see, I do go out occasionally and have fun.)


Joan Seward Willey

For 30 years I have worked in a variety of capacities for the Sierra Club, including as field staff for 10 years organizing the grass roots on forest and clean air issues.  I currently serve as Maryland Chapter Conservation Chair, Anne Arundel Group Excom member and Secretary. I’m co-founder of the Anne Arundel Group and Past Maryland Chapter Chair. I’m a Sierra Club Life Member and member since 1970. I have a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and SUNY.

At the national level I am Vice President for Training and a member of the Conflict Resolution Committee. 

Past positions I’ve held include Severn River Commissioner, Chair of Lower Western Shore Tributary Strategy Team and member of the national Sierra Club Political Committee.

I’ve worked for clean air, clean energy, Program Open Space and for Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection for more than 20 years. I worked with the local conservation committee to facilitate the purchase of Quiet Waters Park, 375 acres that were slated for intense housing development. I’ve been active with the local and state Political Committees working for the elections of good environmentalists and holding them accountable through legislative action.

As a member of the Maryland Chapter Executive Committee, I will work diligently for the mission and goals of the Club.

You may contact me at 410-267-0716 days or evenings or by e-mail at



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