Sonoma County Conservation Action (SCCA) is the nonpartisan, political arm of Sonoma County’s environmental movement. SCCA’s full time organizing staff has knocked on more than 50,000 doors each year since 1991, identifying environmentally concerned county residents, distributing information and election endorsements, generating membership and mobilizing residents to write to decision-makers and to volunteer for electoral campaigns. The power of person-to-person, grassroots organizing makes Conservation Action the most politically effective organization in Sonoma County.
One of SCCA’s driving goals is to create and maintain environmental majorities on the local City Councils and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. This is done through our extensive candidate endorsement process, and the follow through of our canvassers, who door-knock, hand-shake and identify progressive voters months before every election. Conservation Action then watchdogs by holding the local elected officials accountable by publishing a political report card, which grades our electeds on their voting for the environment for the year, and on how well they are listening to their constituents.
Sonoma County Conservation Action will continue to steward the environmental vote by knocking on tens of thousands of doors each year, ushering in the next wave of environmentally concerned residents. Furthermore, we will continue to organize neighborhood precinct teams to facilitate a strong environmental vote. Conservation Action’s commitment to grassroots organizing in Sonoma County will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy our scenic coast, majestic redwoods, and rolling hills.
Sonoma County Conservation Action (SCCA) was organized in 1991 by Bill Kortum, Dick Day, Joan Vilms and Juliana Doms to reach out to the grass roots of Sonoma County and its nine cities. SCCA has utilized door to door canvassers to engage people in a one to one dialogue to educate about current environmental issues and environmentally progressive candidates.
Bill Kortum, a founding member of the California League of Conservation Voters, left the League board in 1989 and recruited Mark Green from the League’s successful canvass operation to come to Sonoma County and become executive director of SCCA. The organization concentrated on local environmental issues and influenced the decisions of local elected officials by sending a canvass into their constituents’ neighborhoods to open up the environmental dialogue and stimulate letter writing to local decision makers.
25 years of canvassing has covered over 35 environmental subjects and influenced the election of dozens of progressive candidates. SCCA has had a profound effect on, among others, limiting wastewater discharge to the Russian River, preventing privatization of a sewer plant, restricting airport expansion, and promoting Urban Growth Boundaries, a vineyard ordinance, parks, and a water element for the County General Plan.
Conservation Action has a board of nine members representing various geographical areas of Sonoma County. Board members are all keenly aware of their local environmental issues and prospective environmental candidates. The fledgling Know Your Neighbor precinct project launched by SCCA has encompassed the very essence of participatory democracy, as emplified in assisting Conservation Action and the North Bay region in establishing the SMART Rail and Trail system through the 2006 and 2008 campaign years.
Read Founding Executive Director Mark Green’s blog posts on the early days of SCCA.