No doubt about it, LIFE is TOO FULL. Three (teenage) boys, running my own architectural business, keeping the home ‘presentable’, much needed exercise, eating right, and maybe even some quiet time for myself. When DO I get to spend time with my husband, Lance? Thankfully, Lance and I share more than just a passion for each other – but also a passion for our environments.
We are both architects, having met and married while at Mississippi State School of Architecture. Our relationship developed through our desire to shape our built environment. But, most importantly today, we are able to share our passion for our natural environment through our roles on the boards of Maryland LCV and Maryland LCV Education Fund, respectively.
We decided to move to Maryland not only for the career opportunities, but also because we fell in love with Maryland’s diverse natural landscapes which we knew would be great for raising our family.
As busy as life can be – I make a particular effort to enjoy the wonderful landscapes that Maryland has to offer. In our hometown of Edgewater, I especially love boating and rafting up Harness Creek. Biking with the Boy Scouts leads to trails of mud in the woods or paths around BWI Airport. We love camping at the beach for LAX tournaments.
Several years ago I made the decision to work towards a just society by focusing on the environment and improving the environmental conditions in local communities. And every day I work alongside our Chispa Maryland volunteers and Promotores I know I made the right decision.
As the Director of Chispa Maryland, I see every day the passion and commitment of my community when it’s time to protect the health of our families and fight for a cleaner and healthier environment for all. Their passion and the fact that this is a matter of life or death for our families, since we are overexposed to air pollution and we are some of the most impacted by climate change is what moves me to work day after day energetically with our volunteers and Promotores.
Now we are working on an exciting campaign, Clean Buses for Healthy Niños or Kids. As a part of the settlement for Volkswagen cheating federal emissions tests, they are paying a $14.7 billion, of which Maryland is receiving 75 million and can use to upgrade our aging fleet of toxic diesel school buses to zero-emissions electric buses. Thanks to supporters like you, this campaign would be able clean the air in our communities, bolster the fight against climate change, and protect the lungs of the 623,000 kids who ride buses every day.
This is last in our series of staff stories, sharing what makes us so passionate about this work. I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing from us and continue to be such great supporters of my work with Chispa Maryland and the entire Conservation Voter Movement.
Ramon Palencia-Calvo, Chispa Maryland Director
Protecting the Earth and promoting Environmental Justice are two of the reasons I love working at Maryland LCV. As a Latina immigrant who grew up around nature and green spaces, protecting these is essential to my heritage. Moreover, as an organizer working with Latino communities, I know that fighting for our environment also means fighting to protect the communities that are most impacted by climate change and pollution.
One of my proudest moment was sitting beside the Chispa Maryland Promotores as they accepted the 2017 John V. Kabler Award for their leadership in their community to green their schools and communities. Thanks to supporters like you, this past summer, we graduated the second class of Latino leaders as Promotores to engage and educate their communities.
This work allows me to stand alongside and support amazing community members and leaders to protect their health and fight for justice. This is why I am proud to be part of Maryland LCV and the amazing work to make sure Maryland leads the way in protecting our mother earth.
For madre tierra,
Johana Vicente, Chispa Maryland Organizer
I learned the hard way that all the research in the world doesn’t matter once the bulldozers arrive. I started my career as a scientist and researcher in the field catching and releasing bears, bats, and birds. I thought studying their beautiful natural habitats and sharing sound science demonstrating how important they are to ecosystems and the human communities around them would be enough to save them. But time after time the sound science was ignored by short sighted policies.
In a previous position, I taught students to reforest streams along the Potomac River and learned how great policies made thousands of on-the-ground projects possible. Time and time again, I’ve learned how important policy is to protecting the environment we hold dear.
So I traded in my work boots for work shoes and got to work on good policy. Here I am testifying at the Howard County Council meeting for tried and true methods protecting our waterways from the devastating effects of stormwater pollution. I am honored to work for an organization that uses sound science and research to make better policies here in Maryland.
Will you join me and support Maryland LCV with a donation before ? Every donation will be TRIPLED and help us keep the Bay clean, address climate change, and Maryland healthy for all residents, animal and human alike>>
With your support, Maryland LCV is able to ensure our elected leaders represent your environmental values. I’m so grateful to live in Maryland where we’ve made incredible progress over the past year thanks to the conservation leaders that we support.
For all of Maryland’s residents, human or otherwise,
Ben Alexandro, Water Policy Advocate
I’ve had a challenging (and tiring!) year on many fronts. It has been hard watching the Trump administration threaten the things we value: our clean air and water, healthy communities, and the foundations of democracy.
At the same time, I welcomed a new baby in June and am inspired by all of the new people I see getting involved the issues I care about. Here at Maryland LCV, we accomplished so much in 2017- including increasing our state’s renewable energy goals and banning fracking.
We could not have done that without the voices of our long time supporters and new supporters alike. I’ve also been so energized by all of our donors who are increasing their investment in our work. We’ve all realized it’s time to double down on our efforts if we want to protect our environment for our kids and grandkids to enjoy.
The environment has been a top priority for me in every election I’ve voted in since 2000, when I turned 18. Growing up in Michigan I spent a lot of time outdoors, especially enjoying Lake Michigan during the warm months. Now that I call Maryland home, I’ve been working since 2010 to help elect pro-conservation candidates. I spent many years working directly on campaigns until my position became available at Maryland LCV.
This is my dream job because I am working for an organization that educates voters, expands the voter base, helps elect candidates that will protect the environment, and then- my favorite part- keeps them accountable one they are in office. Will you join me and support Maryland LCV with a donation before ? Every donation will be TRIPLED>>
One of the things I love most about the Conservation Voters Movement is being connected to a national group in Washington, D.C. that works on federal issues, so we can really dig in and focus on state and local issues. I also love being a part of a network of over 30 other state leagues, including the one doing great work back where I grew up and where much of my family still live.
Even though it can be easy to lose hope when we look at federal rollbacks of environmental protections I am here to tell you we are making progress in Maryland and we are just getting started. Our movement is growing stronger every day as Marylanders overwhelmingly support protecting our water, land and air.
No matter what part of Maryland you live in and whether you have lived here your whole life or just part of it- we all have an obligation to leave our planet as healthy as we found it. That effort starts in our own backyard, and at the local and state levels. Please join me and chip in whatever you can to support our work. A generous supporter has agreed to triple your gift until but don’t delay.
We are already making big plans for 2018. Please give generously so we can continue our important work. Thank you so much for all you do.
I look forward to working with you in 2018,
Karen Doory, Development Director
We can’t do this work without you. Will you join me and support Maryland LCV with a donation before ? Every donation will be TRIPLED and help us to do this vital work on behalf of the voiceless, to keep our air, water, and land clean and our communities healthy and strong>>
My parents raised my brother and me with the unshakable belief that politics is an active verb, and government is a participatory institution. Its key purpose is to protect and care for those who can’t protect themselves, and so those of us with the ability to speak are bound by a moral duty to do so on behalf of the most vulnerable amongst us. It is this touchstone belief that led me to the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and to the work that we do here: protecting the land, air, water, and communities of the Maryland that I love so much.
It is my joy and honor to be able to do this work with my colleagues, here, as the political voice of the environment – and your voice in the halls of Annapolis. We can do this thanks to supporters like you.
That would not have been possible without you, Dannielle. Will you join me and support Maryland LCV with a donation before ? Every donation will be TRIPLED and help us to do this vital work on behalf of the voiceless, to keep our air, water, and land clean and our communities healthy and strong>>
We can elect pro-conservation candidates as our elected leaders, who will champion smart, strong and visionary actions to protect our most cherished resources.
I am so happy to live in Maryland, in my little Baltimore row-house, where so much progress can be made, thanks to all the people – like you – who are willing to work with and invest in Maryland LCV – and to make sure that government represents our conservation values.
Kristen Harbeson, Political Director
When I started at Maryland LCV as an intern in 2009, my main motivation was my passion for the environment and my faith in our democratic representative system to elect leaders who reflect good values of their constituents. Now, eight years later along with dedication to my work at Maryland LCV, I am a co-homeowner, wife, and mother to a wonderful four-year old and my main motivation is to protect my family. Which includes their health and our environment. I know the most effective way to do that is to elect and keep pro-conservation elected officials in office.
Because of your support, Maryland LCV is able to ensure our elected leaders represent your environmental values. I’m so grateful to live in Maryland where we’ve made incredible progress on the environment this past legislative session thanks to the conservation leaders that we support. I know that because of dedicated supporters and activists like you, my son Dean (pictured to the right) will be able to grow up in a Maryland we can all be proud of.
Dannielle Lipinski, Communications and Outreach Manager
By Karla Raettig, Executive DirectorGreat news- every donation will be TRIPLED until and help us clean up the Bay, address climate change, and keep Maryland healthy!This is my 6th year as the Executive Director of Maryland LCV and I am proud to lead this organization. In my 20 years of experience in the environmental community, it’s never been more obvious that elections matter. We cannot make progress on the environment without the right leaders in office, and that’s our mission at Maryland LCV. It’s our job to help elect and secure elected officials who make the environment a priority in their campaign and their elected tenure.Over the year, we’ve seen staggering rollbacks to our basic environmental protections on the national level and disheartening actions against our air, water, land, and public health. From the devastating hurricanes in the south to the wildfires in the West, it’s never been more important to fortify our state environmental protections.In the next two weeks, you’re going to hear from the rest of my staff about what motivates them to do this work. I’m inspired and honored to be on the frontlines with such dedicated and smart staff. I hope you draw inspiration from them like I do every day.With your support, we’ve able to turn our ideas into actions that elect pro-conservation candidates and send them to represent you in Annapolis.Thankfully, we live in Maryland where we’ve made incredible progress on the environment this past legislative session thanks to the conservation leaders that we support. Will you join me and support Maryland LCV with a donation before ? Every donation will be TRIPLED and help us clean up the Bay, address climate change, and keep Maryland healthy!For conservation,Karla Raettig, Executive DirectorMaryland LCV
Written By: Will Baker, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
I will be honored to represent the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as we receive the Chesapeake Champion Award from our close partner and friend, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.
Thanks to our long history of collaboration, we’ve made great strides to further protect this national treasure. There’s a lot more work to do, but thanks to supporters like you, we will continue saving the Bay.
As CBF finishes its 50th year, we celebrate progress. But we are not looking back!
Our goal is a saved Bay that is the model for environmental restoration worldwide.
We must accelerate pollution reduction, further protect and restore vital natural filters and habitat, and utilize the very best, science-based fisheries management possible. We are pleased that our bi-annual State of the Bay health index score has increased again, this time by over six percent, to a C−, better than the D+ from 2014 but still a grade that is far from acceptable.
The science is clear, and it has drawn a clear road map for saving the Bay. Now, more than ever, when the Pruitt EPA is trashing sound science, all of the states in the watershed must embrace it. They must hold to their promises to achieve specific pollution-reduction targets by 2025.
Our elected and appointed leaders need to build on the momentum and do everything in their power to succeed. The fate of America’s most iconic national treasures is at stake.
I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday night.
William C. Baker
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Written by Delegate Kumar Barve
Chair of the Environment and Transportation House committee
I am so proud to be the recipient of the 2017 Legislator of the Year Award from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.
Together with the support of my colleagues in the Maryland General Assembly, I championed the cause to ban the dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking) for natural gas. Last session we also passed landmark legislation increasing our Renewable Portfolio Standard to 25% by 2020, as well as my own bill to reduce greenhouse gases 40% by the year 2030.
Thank you for standing together with your neighbors in support of the environment. Maryland, and in particular my own District 17 near Washington, D.C., have some of the worst air quality on the East Coast. With these legislative wins, we are now moving our state in the right direction.
The renewable energy industries, wind and solar, are key to revitalizing our economy’s growth and protecting our air quality. Over half of Maryland’s electricity still comes from carbon-spewing fossil fuels – coal, oil and natural gas. These dirty fuels are bad for our health, our economy, our climate, and our energy security.
Will you join me and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters on to celebrate these environmental victories?
With the Federal rollback of environmental regulations, work at the state level is more important than ever. Maryland has always led the way. Now we need to double down on our efforts to continue our progress protecting Maryland’s air, land, water, and public health.
Thanks to activists like you, we were able to: permanently protect Maryland from fracking; override the clean energy veto to increase renewable energy; stop non-therapeutic use of antibiotics on livestock; and close a loophole to stop the State’s use of bee-killing pesticides on pollinator habitats.
I look forward to seeing you there!