On December 2nd, at the 16th annual Environmental Leadership Awards Gala in Los Angeles, the California League of Conservation Voters honored several dedicated leaders who are nurturing the next generation of environmental champions. Our event theme, “From Schoolhouse to Statehouse,” recognized the incredible individuals and groups working at all levels—in neighborhoods, in schools, and in politics—to involve young people in protecting and enhancing California’s natural beauty and heritage.
And the honorees are…
• Assembly Speaker Karen Bass has a near-perfect environmental voting record and has successfully defended the state’s bedrock environmental laws. Bass’s legislation includes bills improving services for youth in the foster care system and reducing dropouts by better preparing students for college. In her district she created the People’s Council in order to educate constituents and involve them in the political process.
• Nury Martinez serves on the LAUSD school board and is the Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful. Through programs such as the Pacoima Beautiful Youth Environmentalists, Pacoima Beautiful has been working to provide environmental education, advocacy and local leadership training in order to foster a healthy and safe environment.
• Green Dot Charter Schools, led by Steve Barr and Marco Petruzzi, is a charter school program in Los Angeles with a significant focus on the environment. Green Dot works with the Los Angeles Unified School District to create small, excellent public schools. This year they opened the ACE Academy, which will prepare students for green collar jobs in architecture, construction and engineering.
As our honorees know well, environmental champions don’t happen by accident. Communities, schools, environmental and other organizations, businesses, and elected officials must identify and cultivate them. From the schoolhouse to the statehouse, Californians of all ages can join together to create leaders who will fight for a truly green future for the Golden State.
You too can be an environmental champion! Visit our new “Build a Greener Governor” campaign Web site at www.GreenGov2010.org and add your voice to the conversation about how the next governor should prioritize environmental protection.
See you at next year’s Environmental Leadership Awards!