Chapter Chair Update 

One of the Great Honors of My Life

Winter 2021

Greetings! I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Well, a new year is upon us. And hopefully it will be better than the last. A year of healing, inspiration, and hope. A year of new beginnings and the end to old stories that no longer serve us. A year of action and engagement. A year of climate action and the building of a just society. A year to look toward the future. 

 

So often when we look toward the future, we like to reflect on our past. This will be my last update as your Chapter Chair here in Connecticut. At the end of January, I will be stepping down as chair and the Executive Committee will elect a new one. And as I sit here and reflect on the past two years, I know that the chapter has grown and our movement is strong. And that we will continue to grow from here. 

 

I would like to share with you some highlights today, both chapter-wide and personal. As I began my term, we had just hired our fantastic State Director. During my time as chair, we were able to hire another full time staff member and a part time intern. All three are truly amazing women, and I have been blessed to call them colleagues and friends. We now have a robust Wildlife Committee, and have expanded our Ready for 100 work into five towns. We were able to publish our 2019 Gas Leaks study in a reputable scientific journal. We became a force to be reckoned with at the state capitol as we helped advocate for passage of the plastic bag ban, procurement of off-shore wind, the state water plan, and the fracking waste ban. 

 

We were able to hold numerous fundraising and issue-raising events. We were able to hold two Wild & Scenic film festivals, one at the Bijou in Bridgeport and one virtual. Earth Day events and Drive Electric week events were so fun and a wonderful chance to spread our message and connect with volunteers. Our webinars are well attended both before and during Covid. We had a wonderful event with the Chair of Sierra Club Puerto Rico about the challenges facing the island and how we can help here in Connecticut. These events all hold a special place in my heart—the information I learned, the people I met, have made me a better person. 

 

So I want to say thank you to all the leaders, volunteers, members, and supporters who have made my time as chair of Sierra Club Connecticut so wonderful. I have truly felt your support and love these past two years. Being the Chapter Chair of Sierra Club Connecticut has been one of the great honors of my life. I will hold these memories dear and sacred. Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to new beginnings.

Ann Gadwah is Chapter Chair and Political Chair of Sierra Club Connecticut. 

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Photo: Ann Gadwah - stepping down from Sierra Club Connecticut Chapter Chair (left), Samantha Dynowski - Sierra Club Connecticut State Director (right)