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, and/or


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:

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 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:

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:  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