July/August 2017 Newsletter

In this issue…

Cleveland Ready For 100 Campaign in the Spotlight

By Jocelyn Travis, Sierra Club Energy Program Coordinator – Ready for 100

It is vitally important for Cleveland’s leadership to commit to reaching 100% clean energy by the year 2050! This goal should be everyone’s responsibility and for this reason the campaign has initiated Community Dialogues entitled “Clean and Affordable Energy to Create More Livable Communities for All.” This is a public dialogue to create sustainable action and change for the purpose of listening to Cleveland residents and providing an environment where thoughts and information on clean, renewable energy can be shared. This dialogue engages residents in a four week session for two hours per week led by volunteer facilitators trained by Everyday Democracy, a national organization with an excellent track record of creating communities that work for everyone. The four sessions are:

Session 1: Making Connections

Session 2. Going Deeper: Understanding the Complexity of the Issue

Session 3: Considering Options for Action

Session 4: Setting Priorities for Action and Change

We are excited that our first two dialogue groups are going strong! Sessions are being held at St. Paul Community Church (44th & Franklin) and Garden Valley Neighborhood House (71st & Kinsman) with extremely energetic participants and skilled committed volunteer facilitators. Everyone is encouraged to attend our Action Forum on Wednesday, July 19th 2:00 pm at Garden Valley Neighborhood House to learn about the groups’ action to change agenda and celebrate all those involved. A new dialogue session will be held at the West Park Library on Saturdays in July. Please join us!

The Ready For 100 Campaign just held an advance viewing of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power attended by over fifty community leaders at the Great Lakes Science Center IMax Theatre. In addition to viewing this powerful film, this event featured a panel discussion moderated by Chapter Director, Jen Miller and included remarks by Cleveland Sustainability Director, Matt Gray; Jacquie Gillon, Land Conservancy; Mayor Annette Blackwell who has committed her community of Maple Heights to 100% clean energy and the legendary, David Beach who was recognized for his outstanding role with the environmental movement in Cleveland.

Ready For 100 Campaign continues to build momentum as meetings are held with Cleveland City Council members to provide information on our campaign. Councilman Matt Zone recently recognized our campaign on the floor of city council while wearing our campaign button and informing fellow Council Members to learn more about our campaign.

We continue to need volunteers to provide support to Ready For 100. For more information, please go to sc.org/cleveland or contact Coordinator, Jocelyn Travis:  jocelyn.travis@sierraclub.org.  

Recycling Rules are Changing: Bulbs and Batteries Have New Directives

Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District Encourages Residents to Look to New Resources

Did you ever wonder what you should do with fluorescent bulbs and rechargeable batteries once you’re done using them? Neither should go in curbside recycling, so what do you do with those batteries and bulbs?

In the past, you might have included them with other household hazardous waste items and taken them to your city service department for proper disposal.

Today, there’s an alternative that doesn’t cost taxpayers any money and is just as simple. Now you can take household compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) to any Home Depot or Lowe’s Home Improvement store. It’s free.

There is also a free, nationwide program to recycle rechargeable batteries through an organization called Call2Recycle. Call2Recycle has numerous drop-off locations including Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores in Cuyahoga County. To find a location near you, search with your zip code at www.Call2Recycle.org or call 1.877.2.RECYCLE.

Once processed at Call2Recycle, batteries are recycled into a variety of new products including steel, stainless steel, silverware, golf clubs and new batteries.

Visit www.CuyahogaRecycles.org or call 216.443.3749 to learn how to recycle in your community and discover other recycling and disposal options.

Tell Wendys to do the right thing!

By Laurel Hopwood, NEO Sierra Club Agriculture Committee Chair

Text or Call (888)-624-8140

Talking points:

–  I understand Wendys has not yet joined the Fair Food Program (FFP). The FFP guarantees rights for farmworkers, such as rights to shade and rest breaks from their grueling work, and zero tolerance for sexual harassment and modern slavery.

– Rather than participate in what has been called the “best workplace monitoring program in the U.S.”, Wendy’s has run from responsibility and abandoned tomato growers. Thus, Wendy’s has opted to profit from farmworker abuse and poverty.

– When will you join McDonald’s, Subway and Burger King, which have already joined the Fair Food Program, and commit to buying tomatoes from farms where workers rights are upheld and paid a small Fair Food Premium?


July 3rd: All Hands on Deck

All Hands on Deck is an event where people from all over the Great Lakes will be organizing in different cities to come together in support of clean water and protection of the Great Lakes. This event is going to involve people linking hands around the lakefront in their respective cities at10:00am. The goal is to show how many people in Great Lakes states support and stand up for clean water and protection of our Great Lakes. The Cleveland Event will take place at Wendy Park at 10am with a clean up following from 11-12:30pm.

Community Dialogues: Help Power the Cleveland Comeback with 100% Clean Energy– Join one of  these  two-hour weekly dialogue sessions to be held at these locations (please note new dates):

– Wednesdays at 2 pm, starting June 7 at Garden Valley Neighborhood Center, 7100 Kinsman  Rd. Cleveland

– Tuesdays at 6 pm, starting May 30 at Community of Faith Assembly, 5949 Engel Ave. Cleveland

– Fridays at 2 pm, starting June 2 at St. Paul Community Church, 4427 Franklin Blvd. Cleveland

– Saturdays at 1 pm, starting July 8 at West Park Library, 3805 W. 157th St., Cleveland

The Dialogue gatherings are sponsored by the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign. They are for Cleveland residents and will meet for two-hours each week for 4 weeks. Each session will be co-facilitated by trained volunteers with a commitment to engaging group participants to listen and share. We can repower our city while empowering our communities, but we need leaders like Mayor Jackson and City Council to support a 100% clean energy vision for our city. Come join the conversation and help shape a healthier more vibrant future for our city. Register at www.sc.org/Cleveland or contact Jocelyn Travis at jocelyn.travis@sierraclub.org or 216 926 6535.

For the Love of CLE: the Geography of Gentrification – Tuesday, July 11, 12 pm – 1 pm, Cleveland Public Square. Join a community discussion about the pros and cons of development in 2 neighborhoods, Glenville and SoLo, (south of Lorain near Ohio City). This event is free and open to the public and is hosted by the Cleveland Foundation and the City Club of Cleveland. Food Trucks will be there if you need lunch.

August 3rd: Bag It Film Screening

Sierra Club will be screening the film Bag It at Brick & Barrel Brewing on August 3rd from 6:30 – 8pm. The film Bag It highlights the harmful effects plastic, particularly single-use plastic bags, has on our environment.


Executive Committee meetings begin immediately after the 7 PM Conservation meeting. The July meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 5 at the Brooklyn Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library at 4480 Ridge Rd.

The Energy and Fracking Committees will meet together on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 6:30-8:30 At the Cleveland Hts Main Library, 2345 Lee Rd, Cleveland Heights 44118

Coal & Energy Committee meets at 4105 Stilmore Rd, South Euclid, Ohio 44121. Please contact Randy Cunningham at 216-631-3337 for the time and date of the next meeting.

Green Transportation Committee Please contact Akshai Singh for more information: akshai.singh@sierraclub.org.  State Transportation are now at 7pm EST on the 2nd Monday of each month. For folks interested in our efforts, follow along at Ohio for Transportation Equity’s facebook (website coming soon), or for more local work, Clevelanders for Public Transit, who also have a website.

Rainforest Committee For details on meeting times and places, contact Michael Melampy at 440-263-6483 or at mmelampy@bw.edu.

Cleveland Council on World Affairs Presents: A Foreign Policy Forum

The Paris Climate Agreement, signed in December 2015, is the strongest and most ambitious global pact on climate and carbon emission standards ever reached. Susan Biniaz, a lead U.S. negotiator on the agreement, will join CCWA to discuss the deal and what lies ahead for the U.S. commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Biniaz has been in the legal adviser’s office at the State Department since 1984 and she has been the principal lawyer on the climate change negotiations since 1989. 

Date: April 11


5:30 PM Reception

6:00 PM Program begins

6:45 PM Q&A

7:15 PM Program concludes

Admission:  $25; Members $15; Full-time students $5

Location: The Union Club of Cleveland, Wedgewood Room (1211 Euclid Ave. Cleveland)
For more information  about the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, go to www.ccwa.org.

NEO Sierra Club partners with the Cleveland International Film Festival

The NEO Sierra Club is partnering with the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) to present The Age of Consequences, a film that explores the conflict and security implications of climate change.  The schedule for the film’s screenings at Tower City Cinemas is as follows:

Friday,  March 31, 6:15 PM

Saturday, April 1, 11:10 AM

Sunday, April 2, 9:35 AM

Tickets go on sale March 17.  Sierra Club members can receive a $2 discount on each ticket purchased by using the code word “Sierra” when purchasing tickets.  Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, or at the Tower City box office.  For details, including a trailer for our film, go to the CIFF website www.clevelandfilm.org.  Advance ticket purchases are advised as films often sell out.

March/April 2017 Newsletter

In this issue…

NEOSC Planning Workshop

We will hold our annual retreat and planning workshop on Saturday, March 11 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Trinity Commons, the new building connected to the east side of the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral at Euclid and East 22nd St. in the new CSU Veterans Center space.

Join the Northeast Ohio Sierra Club and help us to plan our committee work for the year. Brief reports about our work in 2016 will also be presented.

Coffee, Bagels, Yogurt, and Fruit will be provided for breakfast, Lunch at Cafe Ah-Roma with several vegetarian and non-vegetarian wrap selections will be provided.

Donations will be accepted to help pay for expenses ($8 suggested).


Everyone’s Issue: Environment and Racism

By Dennis Michael Plank

What are local Native Americans and others working on this year?  They are working on the protection of Native American tribal natural resources and the promotion of Native American human rights.  Why are they doing this?  Native Americans feel that the intersection or interface of environmental problems and racism problems is everyone’s issue.

For example, the Native American Rights Fund recently applauded President Barack Obama’s designation of the Bears Ears National Monument in Southeastern Utah.  He used the Antiquities Act to protect the environment.  This was done in a partnership with sovereign Native American tribes.

This monument is a monument to justice and conservation. It is the first truly Native American National Monument.  It protects a cultural landscape used by Native Americans since as long as they can remember.

Unfortunately, according to National Public Radio News there are Republicans in Congress who want Bears Ears gone and they want President Donald Trump to get rid of it.  They are focused on mining in the area.  The Republicans are not very concerned about the environment, human rights, public lands, public health, and Native American jobs.

With this and other issues in mind a local Native American group called the Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance is having their 15th Annual Conference and 25th Annual Demonstration called “Everyone’s Issue: Environment and Racism”, at Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio, Student Center, April 9-11, 2017, starting at 11:00 AM.  David Narcomy will be the keynote speaker.  He is from the Seminole Nation. He has done activism work for the American Indian Movement.  Also Charlene Teters will speak. She is from the Spokane Nation. She is an artist and Professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Also, Phil Yenyo will speak. He is from the Mexica Aztec Nation. He is Executive Director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio (He is going to try and get input from the Indigenous Environmental Network and/or the Standing Rock Occupiers). For more information contact Dennis at 216-939-8229 or dennislakeerie@aol.com, and/or ferneellen@sbcglobal.net.


A message from Sierra Club’s national office: The annual election for the Club’s Board of Directors is now underway.

Your participation is critical for a Strong Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is a democratically structured organization at all levels. The Club requires the regular flow of views on policy and priorities from its grassroots membership in order to function well. Yearly participation in elections at all Club levels is a major membership obligation.

In a typical year less than 10% of eligible members vote in the Board elections. A minimum of 5% is required for the elections to be valid. Our grassroots structure is strengthened when our participation is high. Therefore your participation is needed in the voting process.

How can I learn about the candidates? Members frequently state that they don’t know the candidates and find it difficult to vote without learning more. Each candidate provides a statement about themselves and their views on the issues on the official election ballot. You can learn more by asking questions of your group and chapter leadership and other experienced members you know. You can also visit the Club’s election website for additional information about candidates: www.sierraclub.org/board/election

Then make your choice and cast your vote! Voting Online is Quick and Easy!

Even if you receive your election materials in the mail, we encourage you to use the user-friendly Internet voting site to save time and postage. If sending via ground mail, please note your ballots must be received by no later than Election Day, April 26, 2017


NEO Sierra Club Partners with Cleveland Film Festival

By Michael Melampy

The 41th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) begins on March 29 and runs until April 9 at Tower City Cinemas downtown. Two hundred feature films, including a number of environmental films will be shown. NEO Sierra Club is a CIFF Community Partner for one of  these films. We will post more details concerning the film and its scheduled screenings on the NEO Sierra Club website as soon as CIFF releases the program for the festival on March 3. On that date at 11 AM, a complete schedule of screenings and short descriptions for all the festival films, including information about ticket prices, will be posted on the CIFF website; printed programs will become available on March 6. Check the listings and plan to attend. Each screening of our documentary will be introduced by a member of NEO Sierra Club.

Sierra Club members will be eligible for a $2 discount on tickets. To receive the discount, you will need to use a discount code that will be posted on our website. Tickets can be purchased online at www.clevelandfilm.org or by phone at 877.304.FILM (3456). In person purchases can be made at the Film Festival Box Office in the Tower City Cinemas lobby (see the CIFF website for hours). Ticket sales begin on March 10 for CIFF members and on March 17 for non-members. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended, especially for the films shown on the weekends.   

Upcoming Events

➡ People’s Climate March

Please plan to join us on April 29 for the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC. A bus from Cleveland is being planned. We will post the details when they are available. Right now we need at least 52  people committed to making the trip so that we can secure at least one bus.

Please sign up for this bus trip at this Facebook Event Page: www.facebook.com/events/1895330470700175/?ti=icl.

In 2014 The People’s Climate March brought 400,000 people to New York City to march as the United Nations Climate Summit was convened. That march sparked an awareness in our leaders that the People  demand meaningful action on the climate crisis.

Now the nomination of climate deniers to important cabinet posts and the appointment of Exxon’s Rex Tillerson as the US Secretary of State demand a loud response from the people. We will not back down on our demand for a renewable energy future. Help make this People’s Climate March even bigger than the first one! Plan to take the Cleveland bus to Washington to march on April 29, 2017!

➡ Black River Clean-Up

It’s Black River Clean-Up (BRCU) time again!! Yes, can you believe BRCU’17 is only 9 weeks away?! Which means summer isn’t far behind!

BRCU’17 is Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7, from 9:00am – 2:00pm with lunch beginning around 1:30. As usual, you are welcome to check-in anytime between 9:00am and 1:00pm, and everyone must be checked-out by 2:00pm. Stay for as little or as long as you’d like. We appreciate every minute you can give. Online registration will be available in the next month or so.



Executive Committee meetings begin immediately after the 7 PM Conservation meeting. The March meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 1 at the Brooklyn Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library at 4480 Ridge Rd.

Coal & Energy Committee meets at 4105 Stilmore Rd, South Euclid, Ohio 44121. Please contact Randy Cunningham at 216-631-3337 for the time and date of the next meeting.

Green Transportation Committee Please contact Akshai Singh for more information: akshai.singh@sierraclub.org.  State Transportation are now at 7pm EST on the 2nd Monday of each month. For folks interested in our efforts, follow along at Ohio for Transportation Equity’s facebook (website coming soon), or for more local work, Clevelanders for Public Transit, who also have a website.
Rainforest Committee For details on meeting times and places, contact Michael Melampy at 440-263-6483 or at mmelampy@bw.edu.