The 130-year-old Sierra Club is the oldest environmental organization in the country and has the second-largest community organizing apparatus in the country outside of organized labor. The Sierra Club is a bit different from other environmental nonprofits as they are both a membership-based and -governed organization committed to democratic organizing. This means Sierra Club members and staff work side-by-side to lead the work. We sat down with Luis Miranda and Lindsay Beebe to learn more about the initiatives Sierra Club is pushing forward and how working at The Shop helps boost their productivity.
Can you describe the work you do for Sierra Club?
Luis: As of this week, I’m starting as Acting Chapter Director for Sierra Club Utah Chapter. My role is to be the glue that holds everything together so our state’s membership and staff have the resources, strategy, and capacity to connect with nature, to connect with their community, and to stand up for climate and social justice.
Lindsay: As a State Lobby & Advocacy Representative, I work to support Sierra Club’s Chapters in the West to develop and implement their state legislative programs.
Are there any exciting initiatives Sierra Club is working on right now?
- We are suing the state of Utah for failing to protect the Great Salt Lake
- We are preparing the next generation of activism in Utah advocating for a commitment to 100% clean energy in their school districts, and planning direct actions to protect the Great Salt Lake.
- We are teaming up with local labor unions to bring clean energy jobs to Utah through the Inflation Reduction Act
- We are organizing the public’s demands Rocky Mountain Power transition to 100% clean, renewable energy in Utah
Recently a lawsuit was filed against Utah demanding action to save the Great Salt Lake from low water levels. What role is the Sierra Club playing in assisting with these efforts?
In early September, alongside a group of organizations and community groups, we sued the state of Utah for failing to protect the Great Salt Lake. Sierra Club organizers have spent years building and sustaining relationships with members of impacted communities who are now offering testimony to the courts in support of the litigation and the Great Salt Lake; our ultimate hope is that this lawsuit protects these community members in return. We are also mobilizing resources to make the lawsuit materially possible, and simultaneously organizing in the grassroots space to build public pressure for state leaders to protect the Great Salt Lake.
What is your favorite park about working ar The Shop?
- Biking to work and back home
- The space is really flexible, with many different environments that work for the individual or a group. We love taking calls on the roof on a sunny day.
- Having desk neighbors and just being in community with other people doing awesome work
How has working at The Shop benefitted your overall workflow?
While we can work from home, it feels much more productive to be able to go somewhere outside of home to focus and be productive, and while it is nice to be able to take calls from our desks in a normal office or home environment, having the option of call booths is a game changer.
Lastly, do you have a best-kept secret of Salt Lake City, or Utah as a whole?
Among some we would say cross country skiing along Mirror Lake Highway, sunset hikes of Buffalo Point at Antelope Island State Park, eating at Capitol Burgers in Torrey, Utah, community programming at The Mobile Moon Coop, and the charming town of Helper, Utah.