of the Year. Here's the press release from the N.C. League of Conservation Voters:
RALEIGH - North Carolina League of Conservation Voters honored three members of the North Carolina General Assembly and a community leader with environmental awards at their seventh annual Green Tie Awards dinner held on May 29 in Raleigh. The event featured John Campbell, Waste Zero board chair as a keynote speaker. The event was attended by over 200 business, environmental, and political leaders across the state.Read the full article
Nina Szlosberg-Landis, President of NC League of Conservation Voters set the tone for the awards which introduced a change this year from previous years: "In the past we have tended to recognize small contributions to the environmental movement from certain groups in
the legislature, while ignoring larger trends of anti-environmental votes - a double standard that benefited no one, least of all the environment. But now we are beginning to move forward and level the playing field."
Szlosberg-Landis added: "It does not matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat: you can, should, and must care about clean water, clean air, and long-term energy sustainability."
Representative Susan Fisher was recognized as the 2013 Representative of the Year. A native North Carolinian, Representative Fisher has represented Buncombe County for the last 5.5 sessions in the House of Representatives. Coming off of a great year in 2012, where Representative Fisher scored a perfect 100 on our Legislative Scorecard, she continues to represent the environmental community in a positive way. She has consistently voted in favor of the environment, with a lifetime score of a 94. This session she has introduced many great bills to the legislature, such as bills promoting energy efficiency, discouraging mountaintop removal, and enhancing the conservation tax credit. She has also supported the environment by voting against bills that would roll back energy conservation codes, regionalize public utilities, and weaken sustainable building standards.
The Green Tie Awards recognize legislators and leaders who understand that clean air and water and our parks and forests are a critical component to North Carolina's economy and quality of life. Additional awards and details from the evening continue below.
Representative Deborah Ross received the Defender of the Environment Award for her consistent willingness to defend against bad environmental legislation, the pollution lobby, and her commitment to taking a strong stand to defend our communities against environmental degradation.
Senator Dan Blue received this year's Senator of the Year Award. The Award recognized Senator Blue for his consistent ability to prioritize protecting our environment when making hard decisions, his long-time and effective willingness to engage with the environmental community, and providing real leadership over the years on key issues at the intersection of environment and social justice.
Sue Sturgis from the Institute for Southern Studies received this year's Catalyst Award for her long history and strong commitment to educating the public about important environmental issues. Through her media coverage, she has taken exceptional action to create change and to bring attention to actions threatening North Carolina's environment and quality of life.
This year, NCLCV also commended Representative Tom Murry and past rising star award winner Representative Ruth Samuelson for their continued hard work in defending the environment in North Carolina's General Assembly. Reps. Samuelson and Murry were vital in stopping
the push to repeal the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard lead by a colleague in the General Assembly. Their work to protect this hallmark 2007 legislation will ensure NC will continue to be a leader in the solar energy economy.
Notable this year was the absence of any Rising Star Awards. These awards recognize new voices at the General Assembly that North Carolina citizens can count on to ensure the environment is a priority. Environmental efforts were hit hard last session, and the anti-environmental theme is continuing this session. North Carolina needs stronger pro-environmental leadership from freshmen and sophomore decision-makers to fight or slow the onslaught of anti-environmental legislation.
NC League of Conservation Voters is a statewide environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing North Carolina's natural environment. NCLCV has been working to protect North Carolina's environment and our citizen's health for over 40 years, turning environmental values into North Carolina priorities. NCLCV's vision for the future of North Carolina is that all citizens and our elected decision-makers will better understand and appreciate North Carolina's unique natural environment, and the integral role it plays in North Carolina's economy and quality of life.