Sierra Club Endorses Local Candidates

The Sierra Club recently announced its endorsement of seven of the eighteen current candidates for Cambridge City Council.

The environmental organization endorsed Henrietta Davis, E. Denise Simmons, Minka vanBeuzekom, Craig Kelley, Tim Toomey, Sam Seidel, and Matt Nelson. Of the seven, six were also endorsed in 2007.

Nelson, who currently works for the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters, was the only new addition to the list. He said that instigating environmental change was one of the reasons he chose to run for office.

Nelson, a Cambridge resident, said that he thinks Cambridge can be an environmental leader in the state. One of his initiatives, he said, would be to enforce existing Cambridge green legislation such as recycling laws and time limits for idling cars.

Phillip Sego, the state political chair for the Sierra Club Massachusetts chapter, said that each candidate for city council was sent at least two invitations to apply to receive an endorsement.

James Williamson, a Cambridge resident running for city council, has publicly claimed that he did not receive an invitation. He has also taken issue with the way the Sierra Club gave out endorsements this year.

Williamson said that he was disappointed because he had a “large interest in environmental issues,” both as a candidate and as an individual.

Responding to Williamson’s complaints, Sego repeated his statement that the Sierra Club sent invitations to all candidates.

“I don’t believe he sent me anything. I most certainly would have responded,” Williamson said, adding that if he is mistaken, he would like to see the email.

Sego stressed that the Sierra Club endorses environmental candidates on a large number of qualifications.

“It’s not [just], does someone claim to be green? Or, have they done one green thing?” he said. “I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet who’s against the environment. Our criteria is who’s best.”

The city council election will take place on Nov. 8 and the final Candidate Forum is this Wednesday at 6:30 at the Senior Center in Central Square.

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