Sea Shepherd Position on Current Sierra Club Elections

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is very much involved in the activities of the Sierra Club. Two of the fifteen Sierra Club directors also sit on the Board of Directors of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Sea Shepherd Director Dr. Ben Zuckerman was elected to the Sierra Club Board in 2002 and Sea Shepherd Founder and President Captain Paul Watson was elected to the Sierra Club Board in 2003.

Both Directors Zuckerman and Watson have pushed for more Club involvement on issues like marine conservation, wetlands conservation, and controversial issues like human over-population.

This year, 15 candidates are running for the Sierra Club Board elections of which five will be elected to serve on the Board for the next three years.

The Society is supporting only petition candidates and rejects the candidates selected by the current Board of Directors.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is endorsing the following six candidates. You can only vote for five but we believe these six should be among the choices of everyone who believes the Club must stand stronger and be willing to tackle controversial issues.

1. Robert Roy Van de Hoek: Roy is a naturalist, a Sierra Club historian, a wetlands activist, a strong advocate against hunting, a vegan defender of animals, and a committed pro-democracy candidate who has mounted a courageous struggle against anti-democratic forces in the Sierra Club. We need Roy to oppose the hunters and support a more aggressive defense of our environment. 

2. Christine L. Garcia: Christine is an attorney and strongly represents anti-hunting interests. She is a strong pro-animal vegan candidate and supports population stabilization in the United States and the world. She is the only Hispanic candidate running. Despite constantly lamenting the lack of non-white and Hispanic representation in the Sierra Club, the Board of Directors failed to nominate a single non-white or Hispanic candidate, and Sierra Club President Larry Fahn attempted to discourage Christine Garcia from running. Christine will bring diversity to the Board and she will help counter the dominant pro-hunting stance of the Club.  

3. Jim Bensman: Jim is one of the most aggressive and articulate advocates in the Sierra Club for a stronger more Democratic Board. He led efforts by the Club to support ending logging on public lands and co-founded the John Muir Sierrans. He has won many Sierra Club awards, and is running for the Board because he is deeply concerned about how the Club is being currently run.

4. Gregory Bungo: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society believes that one of the greatest threats to the survival of our oceans is out of control population growth and escalating consumerism. For this reason we are endorsing two very strong population stabilization advocates. We need Greg on the Board.

5. Alan Kuper: The second but equally important population stabilization advocate we are supporting is Alan Kuper. Alan has the experience and the communication skills to advance this important issue and has been a leading voice addressing the need for population stabilization for years. We need him on the Board.

6. James Bobadilla McDonald: He is strong on population issues and a great forest protector. Anyone who has helped save millions of trees is worth voting for and having on the Sierra Club Board.

Ballot Questions:

We are supporting a Yes vote on the population ballot question. Population stabilization is the only sane policy that the Club can promote. The Sierra Club can no longer afford to ignore the issue of escalating population growth. The current immigration policies in the United States help add some three million people to the population each year, all of whom aspire to be mega-consumers. The current immigration policies of the United States supply renewable cheap labor to factories and farms, keeping farm and factory workers in poverty and allowing them to be exposed to pollutants and dangerous work conditions without the ability to protest their conditions for fear of losing their jobs. The Sierra Club Board has consistently misrepresented our concerns as anti-immigrant when, in fact, the current policies are exploitive of immigrants and it is immigrants who are suffering from them. We do not advocate that immigration be stopped, but we do advocate that numbers be lowered to help achieve population stabilization.

On the other two ballot questions we support No votes because we see these two ballot initiatives as attempts to restrict democratic choices in the Sierra Club. The first of these anti-democratic initiatives seeks to eliminate write-in candidates and the second seeks to restrict eligibility to run for the Sierra Club Board.