Enjoy, Explore, and Protect the Planet Sierra Club Allegheny Group, Pennsylvania Chapter


Sierra Club Endorsements for General Election, Nov. 3

At an October 17 meeting in Harrisburg the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed Darlene Harris (Pittsburgh City Council District 1 – Northside) and Heather Arnet (Pennsylvania Senate District 37 – Mt. Lebanon).

Sierra Club-endorsed candidates who won in the Pittsburgh City Council primary election and will be on the November 3 ballot are Corey O’Connor, Deb Gross, and Bruce Kraus. Similarly, Sierra Club-endorsed candidates who won in the primary election are Chelsa Wagner (Allegheny County Controller) and Kelly Fraasch (Mt. Lebanon Commissioner).

In the important election for three seats on the Supreme Court bench, the Sierra Club has endorsed Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht.

Enviro Groups Endorse Supreme Justice Candidates

Emphasizing the importance of the election of three judges to the State Supreme Court, on October 13 four environmental organizations collectively endorsed Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty and David Wecht. In this unusual action Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of PA, PennEnvironment, and the Sierra Club quoted the increasing importance of the Supreme Court in protecting the environment.

Barbara Daly Danko, 1953-2015

It was back in the summer of 2013 when many members of the local environmental community first became aware of Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko. The issue before Allegheny County Council was the proposed fracking beneath Deer Lakes Park. Councilwoman Danko quickly became the key opponent of this proposal, calling for a 3-yr moratorium on fracking in County parks. She also opposed fracking at Pittsburgh airport. After fracking under Deer lakes was approved in May 2014 Councilwoman Danko lent her support to a citizens’ petition to place a 2-yr hold on fracking of any additional parks. Throughout this long campaign against the invested powers, we learned of Councilwoman Danko’s intelligence, tenacity, and courage. County Council and the citizens of Allegheny County lost a true friend when Barbara Daly Danko died from recurring cancer on May 6, during her bid for re-election to County Council.

NOTE: Barbara’s name will remain on the May 19 ballot and in accord with her wishes voters in District 11 are urged to still vote for her. If Barbara wins that vote, it will be the responsibility of the members of the Democratic Committee in that District to select a person to fill the vacant seat on County Council.

PA Environmental Scorecard Shows Local Legislators Less Supportive than Easterners

November 4, 2014
7:00 amto8:00 pm

ACTION: Let your legislator know what you think about their Conservation Voter score.

Few of the western Pa incumbents in the state House and Senate are being seriously challenged in the Nov. 4 election. East of Harrisburg the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania (CVPa) found it necessary to only endorse Lisa Stout Bashioum (39th Dist in the Mon valley) out of a total of thirteen endorsed candidates for the state House.  So it is useful to know how these incumbents behaved environmentally during the 2013-2014 sessions. (more…)

Sierra Club Endorses Tom Wolf for Governor

Given the promise of a more environmentally sensitive resident in the Governor’s Mansion this coming January, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Tom Wolf for Governor in the November 4 general election. Incumbent Tom Corbett has dismayed environmentalists by his close association with the fracking industry, resulting in his questioning of climate change, wishing to open up state lands to fracking, and failure to support clean energy initiatives. For more information, please contact Barb Grover at < BarbGrover1@gmail.com > or (412) 521-9526.

Sierra Club Endorses Re-Election of Dan Frankel to the State House

In recognition of his strong support on environmental issues over the years, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club has announced its endorsement of Dan Frankel in the upcoming General Election. Rep. Frankel currently represents citizens in the 23rd District, which includes Hazelwood, Squirrel Hill, and parts of Oakland and Point Breeze.

Sierra Club Endorses Brad Koplinski for Lt. Governor

The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Brad Koplinski and his campaign for Lt. Governor.  This decision was based on a questionnaire sent to all the candidates, follow-up interviews, and research.

Our members were impressed with Brad Koplinski’s recognition of the range of challenging environmental issues we face in Pennsylvania, and his courageous stance on Marcellus Shale drilling”, said Sierra Club – Pennsylvania Chapter Director Joanne Kilgour. “He has a clear understanding of the opportunities before the Commonwealth to improve the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our shared land.”

Koplinski is the only candidate for Governor or Lt. Governor to sign a pledge to not issue any new drilling permits until stronger regulations protecting property owners and pipelines are put in place, a severance fee on extracted gas is established and the contents of the fracking fluid that is pumped into the land is fully disclosed. In addition, Koplinski is committed to addressing climate change, improving green building standards in Pennsylvania, and supporting renewable energy.

Sierra Club Endorses Erin Molchany for State House

The only candidate endorsed by the Allegheny Group and the Pennsylvania Chapter in the May 20 Democratic Primary election is Erin Molchany. In the newly formed 36th District current incumbent Molchany is running against current incumbent Harry Readshaw. Since the Sierra Club endorsed Molchany in 2012, she has proved to be a strong friend of the environment with a particular interest in transportation issues. The new House District 36 includes Arlington, Brentwood, Carrick, Overbrook, and parts of Mount Washington and the South Side Slopes

Rep. Murphy Hits Bottom with Zero Pct LCV Score

The annual League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard is a useful revelation of how well our members of Congress are performing with respect to the environment. For example, in 2013 year Tim Murphy (R-Mt. Lebanon) was the only Pennsylvanian member to score zero percent on the 28 votes considered most important in 2013, although his lifetime score is 11 pct. Local fellow Republicans didn’t do much better, with Kelly (Butler) at 4 pct, Rothfus (Ross Twp) at 7 pct, and Shuster (Bedford) at 11 pct. Mike Doyle (D-Pittsburgh) scored 82 pct in 2013 to raise his lifetime score to 71 pct. A similar split occurred in the Senate, with Bob Casey scoring 85 pct on 13 votes in 2013 for a lifetime score of 91 pct, while Pat Toomey managed a score of 8 pct and a lifetime score of 9 pct.

Sierra Club Endorses Peduto and Gilman

As we did in the Primary Election, the Sierra Club has formally endorsed Bill Peduto for mayor of Pittsburgh, and Dan Gilman for City Council (District 8) in the General Election, November 5. In addition, we encourage voters in City Council District 4 to support our good friend Natalia Rudiak.

Endorsed Candidates Win in Primary Elections

We must admit it doesn’t always happen this way, but in the recent Primary Election ALL the candidates endorsed by the Sierra Club in western Pennsylvania won. Top of the list was Bill Peduto’s mayoral victory with 53 pct of the vote to Wagner’s 39 pct and Wheatley’s 7 pct. In a Pittsburgh City Council race with three good candidates, Dan Gillman earned 59 pct, Sam Hens-Greco 25 pct, and Jeanne Clark 16 pct. In a second City Council race Natalia Rudiak moved towards re-election with 52 pct of the vote against Johnny Lee’s 48 pct. Thanks to all who helped achieve these three important victories. NOTE: See a lively and interesting morning-after analysis of the local elections by Lynn Cullen and Chris Potter.

Sierra Club Endorses Dan Gilman for Pittsburgh City Council

On May the Pennsylvania Chapter Sierra Club unanimously endorsed Dan Gilman for District 8 in Pittsburgh City Council.

Dan Gilman has been and will continue to be one of the strongest advocates in City Council for protecting the environment,” writes Allegheny Group Chair Barbara Grover. “Dan worked with a collaborative group of labor leaders, faith-based groups and environmental organizations to get City Council to pass Pittsburgh’s Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and prevailing wage bill. He is the only candidate who supports the ban on fracking in the city.” (more…)

Enviros Rally to Endorse Bill Peduto for Mayor

Mayoral candidate Bill Peduto with supporters including Josh McNeil (Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania), Barb Grover (Allegheny Group, Sierra Club, and Tom Hoffman (Clean Water Action).

Across the street from Pittsburgh’s iconic ‘green’ building – Phipps Conservatory – on April 30 representatives of Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, and the Sierra Club rallied to personally endorse Bill Peduto for Mayor of Pittsburgh. “I am pleased to receive such enthusiastic endorsements from three of the leading environmental advocacy groups,” Peduto said. “Working together with their members, we will make Pittsburgh a model city in the area of protecting and preserving the environment.” (more…)

Primary Election Endorsements for Pittsburgh Mayor and City Council

On March 9 the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed Councilman Bill Peduto for Mayor and incumbent Natalia Rudiak for Pittsburgh City Council, District 4 in the May 21 Primary Elections. During his terms on City Council Bill has been an environmental leader, and has the vision and skills to make Pittsburgh a healthier and greener city. With the departure of Bill Peduto and Doug Shields, we expect Natalia to play an even stronger role in moving the city along an economically sustainable and environmentally sound path.

Former DEP Secretary Enters Race for Governor

John Hangar, former PUC Commissioner, DEP Secretary (2008-11), and founder of the environmental group PennFuture, is the first declared candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2014 race for Pennsylvania Governor. How effective Hangar will be in injecting environmental issues into the campaign will be interesting to watch, following his statement that climate change will be a major focus for him. Hangar is currently Special Counsel for the national law firm Eckert Seamens, based in Philadelphia.

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