July 2023 Newsletter

Greetings, Sierra Club Ohio.

Welcome Summer! Hopefully you and your loved ones are enjoying the warm weather and our great outdoors during the summer season - Let's all take time to enjoy the activities we enjoy the most.

As a reminder, Early Voting for the August 2023 Election in Ohio begins on July 11, 2023.

This edition of our newsletter brings great news - We are welcoming four new Steering Committee members, coming together to share updates regarding our statewide conservation campaigns and programs, and continuing to take action to protect our precious lands. Please read on for more information and ways to get engaged with us.

Many thanks to our members, contributors, and funders who support our work and who are engaged with us in protecting our environment. Please share our news and encourage others to join us.

All the best,

Ericka Copeland
State Director, Sierra Club Ohio

Join Us on July 12 to Learn about our Campaigns

Please join the Ohio Sierra Club on Wednesday, July 12 at 6pm via Zoom for a Conservation Program Update. This will be the first of a series of regular statewide Conservation Program meetings.

We will highlight the statewide work of our Sierra Club volunteers and staff, including various committees, campaigns, and coalitions, as well as opportunities for member engagement. 

Register at the link below.
Click Here for More Information!

Meet Our New Steering Committee Members

We have wrapped up our nomination processes for the replacement of four vacancies on the Sierra Club Ohio Steering Committee. After extensive posting and interviewing by the Nominating and Steering Committees, our current Steering Committee has unanimously voted to add four new members to the Sierra Club Ohio Steering Committee.

We are thrilled to introduce our four amazing new Steering Committee members who bring skills that are needed for the success of Sierra Club Ohio, as well as bringing their interest and willingness to support us in the rebuilding process. 

Our entire Steering Committee will be engaging with, and participating in, conservation and committee activities across the state - We're planning activities where our members can meet and engage with our Steering Committee in the future.

Andrew Linebarger

Headshot of Andrew Linebarger
Andrew Linebarger has dedicated his professional career to achieving meaningful advances in the realm of sustainability. As a 2020 graduate of Penn State's Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems Masters program specializing in Sustainability Management and Policy, he has had the opportunity to put the skills gained through earning that degree to work as a team member of The Recycling Partnership. As a Data Analyst, Andrew examines large sets of data in order to make it visible in hopes of addressing systemic barriers to recycling access throughout the US.

Andrew is also the long jump/triple jump coach for the Case Western Reserve University track and field team. He lives with his wife (Claire) and dog (Daisy) in the greater Cleveland area.

Laura Miller

Photo of Laura Miller
Laura lives on the confluence of historical Shawnee and Miami lands, just south of what is now Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and two dogs. Laura's professional work is in non-profit management, where she has spent her career responding to in-the-moment community needs while building sustainable organizational operations with a social justice lens. Laura loves being outside and is passionate about building partnerships to protect biodiversity in our own backyards and around the world.

Gwen Short

Photo of Gwen Short
Thrilled to be joining the Steering Committee, Gwen Short brings her commitment to protecting the environment and to social justice with her. From Dayton, Gwen grew up exploring the creeks and trees of the Miami Valley. Through that exploration, she became a steward for the great outdoors which led her to become an outdoor educator. As an outdoor educator, Gwen helped to inspire more stewards of the great outdoors and break down barriers to accessing outdoor recreation. Eventually, Gwen switched up her advocacy from an educational approach to a legal approach. Gwen is now a social justice lawyer who wants to see Ohioans thrive in every way. She is thrilled to be a part of the Steering Committee to help the Ohio Sierra Club, Ohioans, and our natural resources thrive.

Lakshmi Prasad

Photo of Lakshmi Prasad
Lakshmi Prasad (she/her/hers) is a community health and international development professional committed to building better health systems and programs that promote health and gender equity locally and beyond. She is passionate about the intersection of climate change, health, and gender and about understanding how small shifts to existing systems and practices can help reduce the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable communities including women. Lakshmi currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio on unceded Delaware, Shawnee, and Miami land with her partner and two cats. She is thrilled to become a part of the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club. 

Step AEP Rate Hikes

Sierra Club has been working in coalition with community partners to stop the AEP rate hikes. AEP is requesting a customer rate increase, while they reap billions in profits. These increases are on top of surging energy prices that took effect in June for many customers in Central Ohio. AEP needs to share the burden and not just pass it along to hard hit Ohio ratepayers.

Please sign this petition to tell the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) not to allow AEP to increase their distribution charges and take advantage of Ohio residents.
Click Here to Sign the Petition!

Community Meet and Greet with Central Ohio Electoral Candidates

Check out this great community meet and greet coming up in July. The event will feature live entertainment, free food, and an opportunity to hear from candidates who are running in the November general election (all candidates are welcome). This gathering space invites the community to get to know the candidates, our neighbors, and learn about resources available in the community.

It's Saturday July 29th, 3-8 pm at Maroon Arts Group Box Park, 925 Mt.Vernon Ave. Hosted by Columbus Stand Up, Working Families Party, and J.U.S.T.
Photo of a flyer containing information regarding the meet and greet


Photo of a lovely lake
Dan Horvath presented a Zoom program to the Portage Trail Group on his journeys to visit all our national parks. Open comments and questions include:

When is it worth burning fossil fuels to visit parks?

Would animals & land be better off without park visitors?

Where do parks fit into any plans for long-term sustainability of planet earth?

Our Sierra Club has historically helped set aside land for animals, people & the future. We still do it!

ESJ Updates

The ESJ Committee will be focusing on ways to help create a sense of belonging among Sierra Club members over the next few months. We are focusing to build community and cultivate a cultural transformation. We will be sending out a survey and looking to highlight some of your stories about your participation within Sierra Club Ohio as well as highlight some of the Environmental and Social Justice initiatives taking place by our amazing staff and volunteers. Stay tuned!

Thank you!

Thank you for all you do for the environment in Ohio. We look forward to hearing from you and connecting on all of our rebuilding activities. Hoping that you and your loved ones are well and safe.