She’s Our Hero
Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, is the recipient of the Santa Barbara’s Community Environmental Council’s 2021 Environmental Hero Award.
“Her work exemplifies what it means to build the broad, boots-on-the-ground base of activism that we need to go all in together on the climate crisis,” says the CEC executive director Sigrid Wright, who will present the award at the Earth Day Festival in April along with UCSB’s Dehlsen chair of environmental studies David Pellow.
Leonard is also the founder of The Story of Stuff and previously spent two decades working on international sustainability as well as environmental and health issues.
She says California is the “pace car” in the climate race – meaning both state and regional organizations like the CEC have a huge responsibility in moving the world forward.
Leonard joins an esteemed list of heroes including activist Paul Hawken, U.S. Congress members Lois Capps and Salud Carbajal, Titanic film director James Cameron, science educator Bill Nye, actress Daryl Hannah, and Tesla Motors magnate Elon Musk.
At CEC, building community resilience is at the center of everything we do. Our advocacy and programs seek to address root causes of climate change.
Since 1970, CEC has led the Santa Barbara region — and at times California and the nation — in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. We are often referred to as a “think-and-do tank” — deeply analyzing a problem and then applying creative, real-world solutions to it.
CEC seeks to move the Santa Barbara region away from dependence on fossil fuels in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33. We are aggressively pursuing this goal by educating and activating the community around sustainable practices, advocating for environmentally-sound policies and laws, and building partnerships with other organizations to open new pathways for sustainable transportation, energy, and food systems. Our five initiatives – Drive Less, Drive Clean, Go Solar, Ditch Plastic, Rethink Food – offer accessible pathways for the community to connect with and take action on CEC’s vision for a cleaner, healthier future.
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Clear Thinking on Climate Change
“When the Thomas Fire burned through our region in 2018, it became the largest fire in California. Today it is the sixth largest. Fire season is now year-round, marked by mass evacuations, mass blackouts, and unfathomable fire runs measured in acres per second. Meanwhile, the Central Coast is heating at twice the rate of other parts of the U.S. We need clear thinkers and leaders who can bring people together as a community to tackle the impacts of the climate crisis. This is what CEC does, and why I stand with them.”
Leading in Fight to Reverse the Climate Crisis
CEC has developed a comprehensive 5-year plan that builds our capacity to lead, partner and act. Our mission is to create a Zero Carbon community over the next decade that reverses the threat of the climate crisis.
To carry out this bold, transformative climate action with clear, measurable goals on the Central Coast, CEC is seeking five $100,000 gifts to move forward this effort.
Board of Directors
John H. Steed, President
Catherine Brozowski, Vice President
Kathy Yeung, Treasurer
Charles Newman, Secretary
Board Members at Large
Barbara S. Lindemann
David N. Pellow
Board Members Emeritus
Selma Rubin, In Memoriam