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Fare Thee Well

Ann Gadwah

May 2024

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It is with a full and grateful heart that I say goodbye to the Sierra Club Connecticut community. I have had the honor and privilege of being a part of this amazing organization for the past seven years. I have been able to advocate by your side for good climate and environmental policy, march and rally for change, walk in the woods, and generally make some good noise for our shared home, our Mother Earth. 

 

I began my journey in the summer of 2017. I had worked on the Sanders presidential campaign in 2016 and was inspired to continue my activism. I searched my soul for what direction I wanted this activism to take, and my heart knew that it was for the environment. I called the chapter chair at the time, Martha Klein, and asked her if there were any volunteer opportunities at the chapter. There was. I was voted onto the Executive Committee for 2018 and was promptly made Political Committee Chair. (Martha has a way of seeing your potential, even when you don’t, and for that I will be forever grateful). I was able to dig into the movement like never before. Three months into my tenure, Martha asked me to be the next chapter chair. I said yes. 

 

In my volunteer years, I helped endorse over a hundred candidates for State Representative and State Senator, along with your current Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer and Secretary of State. I led outings, ran campaigns, fundraised, lobbied at the state capitol, ran webinars and in-person educational events, and chaired the executive committee. Then in 2021, a part-time position opened up and I applied. I was hired as the Advocacy and Outreach Organizer and spent the last three years working at the best job I have ever had. 

 

I am so blessed to have worked among such admirable and dedicated people here at the chapter and at our allied organizations and partners. Together we were able to pass a plastic bag ban, ban chlorpyrifos, clean up transportation, update our Environmental Justice law, and protect open space, water, and wildlife. I am constantly inspired and amazed at the people I know, how blessed I am in my friends and colleagues. I often wonder, how did I get here? And I know that I am forever changed by this experience that I could not have conceived in my wildest dreams. 

 

Please continue to work towards the future we know is possible. I embark on this new adventure knowing that the work continues here in Connecticut even as I move on to Colorado. And I know it is in the best possible hands, the Sierra Club Connecticut community. I leave you with the enduring words of Hunter and Garcia. 

 

“Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell. Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul” - The Grateful Dead

Ann Gadwah is Advocacy & Outreach Organizer with a focus on our legislative work at the State Capitol.

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