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There are as many opportunities to get involved in the Sierra Club as there are members-OK, not that many, but a lot. This tour will help you find the resources and contacts you need to take the next step. Welcome aboard.
Sierra Club members and supporters are are more than 1.3 million of your friends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Sierra Club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.
Through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying and litigation, the Sierra Club works to protect the health of our environment and the preserve our remaining wild places.Here are just a few of the accomplishments that the Sierra Club has helped bring about:
The Sierra Club was founded in 1892 by John Muir . Click here to learn more about the Sierra Club history and the Club's accomplishments over the past century.
To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out those objectives.
This is not about getting back to nature. It is about understanding we've never left.
We are deep in our nature every day. Were up to our ears in it. It's under our feet, it is in our lungs, it runs through our veins. We are not visitors here. We weren't set down to enjoy the view. We were born here and we're part of it-like any ant, fish, rock, or blade of grass. This connection is as personal as it is fundamental. It can't be proved with theorems and diagrams. You either feel it or you don't.
Sierra Club members feel it.
Maybe it came to you on a mountain trail, or on a riverbank, or at a windowsill watching a spider's unthinking intelligence unfold. Simply put, it's the sudden conviction that there is something out there, something wonderful. And it is much, much bigger than you. A revelation like this could easily overwhelm a person. We choose to let it inspire us.
Nature, vastly complex and infinitely subtle, is our perfect metaphor. Related to everything, signifying everything, it is the spring where we go to renew our spirit. And it, in turn, asks something of us. It compels us to take responsibility and then to take action.
Look, there is nothing inevitable about the future of our environment. A poisoned stream can get worse, stay the same, or get better. It depends largely on what we choose to do. That simple belief, backed by 100 years of effort and result, is what drives the Sierra Club.
So, forget the grim cliché of the selfless environmentalist. When you accept your connection to nature, suddenly you can't look at the world without seeing something very personal in it. You are part of it, and you work for the planet because it gives you joy to do so. You work for the planet because you belong to it.
No matter where you live, there's a Sierra Club chapter or group near you. There are chapters in every state. All chapters have groups, which are organized geographically around local issues.
For example, the Arizona Chapter comprises five groups-the Plateau Group (Flagstaff) , the Sedona/Verde Valley Group, the Yavapai Group (Prescott), the Palo Verde Group (Phoenix) and the Rincon Group (Tucson).
To find your chapter, you can click on your location on the map or go to "my backyard" .
Most U.S. chapters generally cover a state, though Washington D.C. has a chapter, and California has 13. Three chapters cover more than one state: the Rio Grande Chapter includes all of New Mexico and a small part of Texas around El Paso, the Northern Rockies Chapter includes all of Idaho and a slice of eastern Washington, and the Toiyabe Chapter includes the eastern Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada.
The Sierra Club has been active in Canada since 1969 and has four chapters there. Sierra Club Canada is a separate legal entity.
Each chapter and group is guided by an executive committee elected by the members. Approximately 5,000 volunteers nationwide are elected or appointed to leadership positions, such as chapter chair, chapter treasurer, committee chair, and outings leader. The Club structure allows us to work on multiple levels to solve problems. Nationwide membership gives the Sierra Club clout with Congress and the White House, while local groups and chapters help us influence city council members, county commissioners, and state officials. The local groups also put pressure on their members of Congress-remember what former House Speaker Tip O'Neill said: "All politics is local." This one-two punch is a powerful combination.
The Sierra Club's first outing drew 96 people to Yosemite National Park in 1901. Today, our national outings program offers more than 330 outings each year-from backpacking in the Sierra Nevada to whale watching in Hawaii; from trekking in Nepal to bird watching in Brazil.
In addition, chapters and groups offer tens of thousands of outings every year led by Sierra Club volunteers-from hikes to bicycle rides to rafting trips. Most are free and have no membership requirement. Local outings are published in chapter and group newsletters and Web sites.
In 50 U.S. and Canadian cities, Sierra Club volunteers lead Inner City Outings, providing low-income, inner-city youth with trips to wilderness.
Two important actions Sierra Club volunteers can take from the comfort of their home are writing letters and making phone calls to support environmental protection. Several Sierra Club publications can give you ideas about letters to write.
If you're a member, you already receive Sierra magazine, which regularly includes calls to action on a variety of issues. Members and non-members alike are invited to subscribe to our flagship email newsletter, The Insider , which brings news, stories, photography, and opportunities for activism to your inbox twice a month. Check out past issues and subscribe here . Still want more? A master list of all the Club's email publications can be found here .
Your local chapter or group newsletter also includes specific requests for actions you can take locally. Many chapter and group newsletters are available online.
One of the ways many people become familiar with the Sierra Club is through our books and calendars.
Sierra Club Books has published more than 700 titles and sold more than 14 million books and calendars since its inception. The Books Department publishes books for children and adults, and Chapters and groups raise money every year by selling calendars.
The Sierra Club also has a recently established television and film production company- Sierra Club Productions -which produced the award-winning Ansel Adams documentary for PBS in 2002.
The Sierra Club's Web site has a "take action" page where you can send faxes, e-mails and letters to public officials. You can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts.
Writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper can reach thousands of people in your community with the Sierra Club's message.
Every chapter and most groups have Web sites where you can find out about events and issues in your community, and how to connect with other Club members. Go to "my backyard" section of the Sierra Club home page and click on your state. Or you can go to the "Chapters and Groups" page and click on your state.
You can also use Zoomer, an online environmental database, to find out what's happening locally.
While individual actions like writing letters from the comfort of your home are important, the real strength of the Sierra Club comes from collective action, joining with others to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet.
All local newsletters list a range of activities from river rafting trips to beach cleanups to newsletter mailing parties. At right and below are some activities chapters and groups offer that you can participate with your neighbor.
he late Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers, was once asked what the secret to good organizing was. His response: "The only way I know to organize is to talk to one person, then talk to another person, then talk to another..."
The Sierra Club is most successful when it reaches out beyond its members and makes new friends.
This can take a variety of forms, from tabling at community events to knocking on doors to participating in public hearings to asking strangers outside the supermarket to sign petitions.
The Sierra Club also works to build alliances with other groups, like labor unions, religious groups, hunters and anglers, and poor and minority communities. For example, in the spring of 2003, the Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers began the first of 30 joint trainings focused on energy solutions that provide good jobs and curb global warming.
Once you've participated in volunteer activities, you can contribute even more by leading these activities, and taking part in the planning and operation of your group or chapter. You can volunteer for a committee, lead an outing, write stories or take photos for the chapter or group newsletter, attend public meetings representing the Sierra Club, help plan fundraising activities or help recruit volunteers.
Decision-making in chapters and groups is democratic. Members vote for executive committee officers, who in turn appoint leaders to serve other roles. Groups send delegates to chapters; chapters send delegates to national.
The national board of directors is elected by the entire membership and appoints volunteer leaders to the many roles that keep us vibrant and effective. All conservation policies are approved by the board of directors. Occasionally, members vote on policy initiatives. In 1996, Club members voted in support of a policy calling for an end to commercial logging on federal public lands.
The Sierra Club is inclusive and participatory and has all the messiness that comes with a democratic decision-making structure. Leaders love and hate this democracy. We love that we have a voice; we don't always love that others do, too. With so many voices, decision-making can take longer and conflicts can arise. As a result, the Club culture has a high standard for treating others respectfully, finding common ground, and moving forward to fight the polluters and despoilers, not each other.
The Sierra Student Coalition is the largest, most influential student environmental group in the country, with thousands of members in hundreds of high schools and colleges around the country.
The SSC works on campaigns to protect wilderness and make globalization sustainable and fair, and advocates for clean energy. Advocating for clean energy and public lands protection is another high priority.
The SSC also train today's young leaders and leads outings to explore, enjoy and protect our wilderness.
The Sierra Club works on dozens of issues, but every two years the board of directors, with guidance from chapters and groups, specifies our top priority campaigns and programs. The purpose of these priorities is to focus public attention on the priority campaigns.
Most chapters specify priority campaigns as well, some of them overlapping with national campaigns.
For example, the Maine Chapter's four priorities are wilderness protection, which includes the Maine Woods; marine and coastal issues; smart energy; and public lands protection with a focus on Alaska and Utah.
A great director can sometimes wring a good performance out of a bad actor. But it makes more sense to cast the right person in the role from the start.
That's the reasoning behind the Sierra Club's political program: Invest in getting pro-environment champions elected to office and it's easier to get pro-environmental legislation passed.
Nationwide, the Sierra Club endorses and works for thousands of candidates, from city council members to county supervisors to U.S senators to presidential hopefuls. Chapter and group political committees make most of the Club's endorsements; for federal-level candidates, they make the endorsement in conjunction with the national political committee.
The Sierra Club endorsement can make a difference. "Receiving the Sierra Club endorsement was the turning point in my campaign," acknowledged Minnesota Mayor R.T. Rybak, elected with Club support in 2002.
But even more critical than making endorsements is getting out into the community and engaging citizens in conversations about environmental issues. That work doesn't stop on election day. No matter who is elected, the Sierra Club has to keep shining the spotlight on the office-holders' voting record, and praising the environmental champions while exposing the pretenders.
With 63 chapters, 390 groups and hundreds of issue committees and activity sections, there are a wide variety of leadership roles open to you, depending on your interests and skills.
There are two types of leadership positions-elected and appointed. Within chapters and groups, the core positions that make up the executive committee are elected by the members. The executive committee, in turn, appoints other leaders to positions such as issue committee chairs. In chapters and groups with activity sections, such as Sierra Singles or skiing sections, there are many more leadership opportunities.
The Sierra Club depends on effective leaders to inspire and motivate volunteers, members and citizens. An effective leader:
Sierra Club leaders are ordinary people who do extraordinary work.
Want to become one?
Contact your local chapter.
GT Media (GoodTimes Entertainment)is a leading vertically integrated multimedia consumer product marketing company. Our products target the fitness, weight-loss, skin-care, hair-care, vitamin, housewares, inspirational, and family entertainment markets including The FIRM exercise video series, Leslie Sansone's Walk away the Pounds and WalkBlaster, the Animated Classics Collection, GT XPress101 kitchen appliance, and Billy Blanks' TAE BO.
Tae Bo® is an exercise that teaches a person how to communicate with the body. It teaches how the mind should operate with the spirit, which God has given us. By the mind working with the spirit one can learn how the body mechanics operate.
Tae Bo® is a program that combines the best of a variety of different exercise disciplines to provide an overall workout. It is the combination of self-awareness and control of martial arts, the focus and strength of boxing, and the grace and rhythm of dance.
. The word "Tae" means "foot and leg" in the Korean language, due to the movements that emphasize the lower body.
It is important to remember that Tae Bo® will give back to you what it asks of you. It is like the laws of the universe, if you plant a seed and nourish it, it is guaranteed to grow. As your will is tested it is also strengthened. While you push your body you build it as well. As your mind and will are challenged, your spirit that God has given you is embraced.
Tae Bo® requires strength, endurance, technique, and focus; it mandates your mind and soul as well as your body. You will find out how the mind, will, soul and body have come together to form
What Makes Tae Bo® Different?
Tae Bo® is not just about martial arts itself, because it teaches you to punch and kick. Tae Bo® trains you to respond mentally and physically with speed and accuracy. By using Tae Bo® , you discover how powerful your body is and how to use it to defend yourself. Although, we hope you never get into a situation where you have to call on these skills. However, a key to self-awareness is that anything can happen and one should always be prepared for the unexpected. Practicing Tae Bo® will provide you with confidence, self-awareness, tone and quick reflexes if you enter a bad situation. All individuals should know how to protect themselves. They can learn by applying the Tae Bo® philosophy and techniques (punching and kicking).
Billy Blanks is the creator of Tae Bo® , the revolutionary total body fitness system that has helped millions of people around the world get in shape and feel great! He has also devoted a great deal of time toward helping people through his Foundation and by traveling around the world to train the U.S. Armed Forces. In addition, Billy's extraordinary achievements as a world karate champion, actor, author, motivator, philanthropist and humanitarian continue to earn him acclaim.
Billy's rise to success seems all the more astonishing when seen through the prism of his childhood. Born the fourth of 15 children to Isaac and Mabeline Blanks, he had few opportunities on the mean streets of Erie, Pennsylvania. Complicating his young life, Billy was afflicted with undiagnosed dyslexia and suffered a problem in his hip joints, which impaired his movement, resulting in a clumsiness that caused his coaches to think he would never amount to much.
However, Billy took his first martial arts class at age 11 and soon began to gain a mastery of the sport and himself. In 1975 he became the first Amateur Athletic Union Champion, a title he would earn five times. Billy ascended to become a seventh-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and gained black belts in five other forms of martial arts. He became a seven-time world karate champion, captained the U.S. karate team, won 36 gold medals in international competition and earned admission to the Karate Hall of Fame in 1982. Billy Blanks also became the 1984 Massachusetts Golden Gloves Champion and the Tri-State Golden Gloves Champion of Champions.
Billy moved to Boston as an adult and opened his own karate studio. It was there, while combining dance moves and Tae Kwon Do, that he unintentionally hit upon the concept for Tae Bo®. Billy moved to Los Angeles in 1989 and taught classes in his garage. Shortly after, he opened the Billy Blanks World Training Center in Sherman Oaks.
Word of mouth brought the early clients, but when singer-dancer Paula Abdul came through the door and the dramatic benefits of Tae Bo® became quickly apparent, the business took off. Most recently, celebrities like Charlotte Ross of "NYPD Blue", Melissa Reeves of "Days of our Lives", actress Alicia Coppola , actor and country music star Scott Reeves , Stephanie La Grossa of "Survivor", Kendra Todd of "The Apprentice", actor Lou Diamond Phillips, Trista and Ryan Sutter from "The Bachelorette", and former Philadelphia Eagles star Randall Cunningham have also been reaping the benefits of Tae Bo® and BootCampT. Lou Diamond Phillips says that he gets cut more quickly in Billy's classes: "I have not seen faster results than through Tae Bo® or Boot CampT."
Countless other celebrities are also believers, including Pamela Anderson, Justine Bateman, Catherine Bell, Valerie Bertinelli, Neve Campbell, Rae Dawn Chong, Rebecca De Mornay, Farrah Fawcett, Viveca Fox, Goldie Hawn, Queen Latifah, Emmanuel Lewis, Ryan O'Neal, Lisa Rinna, Lela Rochon, Jack Scalia, Connie Selleca, Brooke Shields, Sinbad and Shannon Tweed . Athletes seeking to stay in top physical shape have also flocked to the studio, including Wayne Gretzky, Bruce Jenner, Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal . Concurrent with his rise as a fitness expert and physical trainer to the stars, Billy has also built an impressive resume as an actor. He has appeared in 18 movies including Kiss the Girls, The Last Boy Scout, Bloodfist, Lionheart, Talons of the Eagle, Back in Action, Stand Alone, Balance of Power and The King of the Kickboxers . On television, Billy has been seen in such episodic shows as "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "The Parkers," "Suddenly Susan," "ER," "Melrose Place," "Martial Law," "Street Justice" and "Spenser: For Hire."
Whatever incredible project he may be working on, Billy has made helping others a top priority in his life . The most vibrant example is The Billy Blanks Foundation . Established in 1999 by Billy and his wife Gayle, the foundation is dedicated to equipping high-risk individuals with life skills that allow them to achieve their full potential. Billy has also done notable work with the military . He frequently travels with members of his family, including daughter Shellie, thus helping to integrate cross-gender, generational and racial messages into their appearances at training camps and hotspots worldwide. Billy's work with the military has included trips with his daughter to Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sarajevo, Greece, Africa, Germany and Italy, to work with members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Despite his achievements, Billy isn't resting on his laurels or anything else. Out of bed by 5:30 a.m., he still teaches at least two Tae Bo® classes and a few martial arts classes each day at his studio in Los Angeles. He is married to his teenage sweetheart Gayle, co-founder of the Billy Blanks Foundation, and is the proud father of two children, Shellie and Billy Jr.
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