After an extensive search, we are excited to announce that Damon Motz-Storey will be joining the Sierra Club Oregon Chapter’s staff team as our next Chapter Director, starting September 15th.
Damon brings seven years of experience on a wide range of campaigns for environmental justice, including serving as a communications director for the Portland Clean Energy Fund ballot measure in 2018 and as an organizer in the successful campaign to stop the Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline from being built in southern Oregon. They have lobbied and organized to help pass Oregon’s 100% clean electricity standard, block renewable energy credits from being awarded to a waste incinerator, and secure tens of millions in state grants for community-based renewable energy projects and low-income home energy repairs. Most recently, they spent two years fundraising and organizing with the Coalition of Communities of Color where they helped pass the first Portland city government reform in over 100 years and broke the organization’s annual fundraising records twice in a row.
At 29, Damon will be one of the youngest leaders of a Sierra Club chapter and one of very few openly transgender leaders of an environmental organization. They are gender nonbinary and use they/them/theirs pronouns.
Here are a few words from Damon:
I am extremely excited to be joining the Sierra Club as the next director of the Oregon Chapter. I have learned so much from Sierra Club staff and volunteers during my career and most of the campaigns I have been involved with have been key priorities for the Oregon Chapter.
This is a heavy time for the environmental and climate justice community. Despite the passage of substantial funding for clean energy and climate initiatives, the Biden Administration has been breaking its promises to scale back on fossil fuels by supporting and approving new oil and gas projects. Staggering heat has swept the planet recently and other examples of climate change’s devastating impacts are everywhere. Communities of color and people experiencing poverty are already being displaced and harmed at disproportionately high rates.
"It is easy to despair, but action and hope go hand in hand, and there are so many reasons why this is the best possible moment to get involved in the movement for climate justice."
We have extraordinary federal, state, and local resources becoming available for transitioning to clean energy and zero-emission buildings. In 2024, highly influential seats in the state legislature and city councils will be up for election and voters will need to know who the environmental champions are. Communities of color and working class communities in our region have been hard at work leading the way towards a vision of climate justice. The Sierra Club Oregon Chapter is poised to help win big victories for all of these issues and more.
All of this is going to take some time. The Oregon Chapter has not had full-time staff in several years as it has gone through good and necessary work to improve its internal structures and recruit new volunteer leaders. Rebuilding staff capacity and our presence as an organization are high priorities that won’t be quickly completed. I like to imagine my role as if I were a community organizer for a farming cooperative: most of our fields have had to go fallow while we improve soil quality, and now we get to begin the exciting work of collectively deciding what crops to plant and grow.
That means I will want to hear from you as we get started this Fall! Keep an ear out for opportunities to get more involved with the Sierra Club Oregon Chapter and we will be in touch soon about the road ahead.
Thank you so much for being a supporter. I am humbled and honored to be chosen for this role.