On November 16, 2017, MCE’s Board of Directors recognized this year’s Charles F. McGlashan Advocacy Award nominees, including Sarah Loughran and Helene Marsh, in connection with the Environmental Forum of Marin, the El Cerrito Environmental Quality Committee, and Melissa Yu from the Sierra Club Bay Chapter. MCE established the annual award in June 2011 to honor and commemorate the legacy of environmental leadership left behind by former founding MCE Chairman, Charles F. McGlashan.
“MCE started as an idea bigger than any one of us, and we couldn’t have become California’s first Community Choice Aggregation program without the help of local leadership and advocacy,” said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. “It truly takes a village to redefine our energy landscape and create choices for ourselves where there were none before. Together we’re having an enormous impact on greenhouse gas reduction, rate stability, and new renewable projects that are creating the local, green collar jobs of the future.”
About the Nominees
Sarah Loughran and Helene Marsh completed the Environmental Forum of Marin’s Master Class with a drive to tackle climate concerns in Marin County. As a team, they encouraged Marin municipalities to opt up to MCE’s Deep Green 100% California renewable electric service in an effort to reduce emissions, meet climate action plan goals, and act as leaders to encourage residents to opt up as well.
At the start of 2017, four of the 12 Marin County municipalities were enrolled in Deep Green. Following the efforts of Loughran and Marsh, along with the support of various local groups, the Corte Madera, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Rafael, and Tiburon Councils and Marin County Supervisors all voted to opt up their accounts to Deep Green, making all of Marin County municipalities 100% renewable. Together, they have eliminated an estimated 4,180 metric tons of carbon pollution, or the US EPA equivalent of removing 895 cars from the road in one year.
El Cerrito’s Environmental Quality Committee (EQC), led by Rebecca Milliken, Mark Miner, and Howdy Goudey created a year-long “100 for 100” initiative, with the goal of increasing the number of Deep Green 100% renewable energy customers in the City by 100 electric accounts to commemorate the City of El Cerrito’s 2017 Centennial Celebration. Attending numerous events throughout El Cerrito to inform the public about MCE’s renewable service options and raise awareness about the greenhouse gas impacts of electricity consumption, the El Cerrito EQC successfully surpassed the initiative’s goal before the end of the year.
The increase in Deep Green enrollments in El Cerrito was further bolstered by El Cerrito City Council’s recent decision to opt up its municipal electric accounts to Deep Green. These efforts have contributed to a 43% growth in El Cerrito’s Deep Green accounts from January to October 2017, making El Cerrito’s participation in Deep Green the second highest across MCE’s 24 member communities (6.4%).
Melissa Yu of the Sierra Club’s Bay Chapter has been instrumental in encouraging Contra Costa County Councils to consider their Community Choice options. When the nine new Contra Costa communities voted to join MCE, Yu immediately reached out to offer the Sierra Club’s support in forming, coordinating, and recruiting for the forthcoming Community Leader Advisory Groups, which will provide feedback on MCE’s marketing and outreach strategy to the new communities in 2018.
Yu’s support has led to significant assistance from The Sierra Club’s Bay Chapter, including an announcement in their wide-reaching e-bulletin, collaboration on co-branded marketing materials with MCE, and an endorsement of MCE’s programs by the Bay Chapter that will be used in Contra Costa community outreach.
To date, the Charles F. McGlashan Advocacy Award has been awarded to Barbara George of Women’s Energy Matters in 2011; the Mainstreet Moms in 2012; Lea Dutton of the San Anselmo Quality of Life Commission in 2013; Doria Robinson of Urban Tilth in 2014; Constance Beutel of Benicia’s Community Sustainability Commission in 2015; and Sustainable Napa County in 2016.