Reps Chuck McGrady and Patsy Keever receive conservation awards

Here’s the press release from the NC League of Conservation Voters:

RALEIGH – North Carolina League of Conservation Voters honored ten members of the North Carolina General Assembly with conservation awards at their sixth annual Green Tie Awards Dinner held on June 20 in Raleigh. The event was attended by nearly 200 business, environmental, and political leaders from across the state. Representatives Patsy Keever and Chuck McGrady were recognized as Rising Stars in the General Assembly to acknowledge their commitment to prioritizing environmental issues early on in their legislative careers. These Representatives played key roles on legislation ranging from water and energy conservation and efficiency to protecting public health.

A 2012 Rising Star award was presented to Representative Chuck McGrady of Henderson County. Representative McGrady served as the national president of the Sierra Club, the Executive Director of the Environmental & Conservation Organization of Henderson County, and a founding director of both the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Friends of DuPont Forest. Last year Representative McGrady was the only Republican to vote against S 709, the first bill that would have fast tracked fracking and offshore drilling in North Carolina. After S 709 was vetoed by the governor, Representative McGrady remained in steadfast support of public health and environmental protection, announcing that he would not attempt to override the veto in the legislature. The environmental community is fortunate to have Representative McGrady as an ally.

A 2012 Rising Star award was also presented to Representative Patsy Keever, a former school teacher representing Asheville & Buncombe County. After knocking out a member of National LCV’s dirty dozen in 2010, she hit the ground running when she introduced the Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates Bill to encourage energy conservation and energy efficiency. Representative Keever was targeted in redistricting and has courageously chosen to take on NC Representative Patrick McHenry, instead of running against another pro-conservation friend, Representative Susan Fisher.

Nina Szlosberg-Landis, President of NC League of Conservation Voters, set the stage for the awards: “Tonight as we mark the sixth annual NCLCV Green Tie Awards, our state and our country are facing serious challenges to the health of our environment and our communities in the name of improving the economy. Here in North Carolina, it has been one of the hardest times in years to stand up and protect our environment.”

The Green Tie Awards recognize legislators 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 Pricey Harrison received the Defender of the Environment award for her consistent willingness to advance the cause of the environment in North Carolina. Rep. Harrison fully understands the role that a healthy environment plays in creating a better North Carolina for all our citizens. Her perfect NCLCV legislative lifetime score speaks to this commitment.

Representatives Verla Insko and Martha Alexander were recognized as the Representatives of the Year. The Representative of the Year award recognizes Rep. Alexander and Insko’s consistent ability to prioritize protecting our environment when making hard decisions, their long-time and effective willingness to engage with the environmental community, and taking members to task in committees or on the House Floor when they are threatening our state’s resources.

An additional Rising Star Award was presented to Representative Susi Hamilton of New Hanover County.

Of particular interest this year was the new award “The Joe,” honoring Speaker Joe Hackney for his 32 years of environmental advocacy. This award serves as a thank you to environmental champions who NCLCV honored in the past, but who will not be returning to the General Assembly. Representatives Joe Hackney, Grier Martin, Jennifer Weiss and former Senator Marc Basnight were honored with this Green Tie award for their public service ranging from public health to climate change to clean water. Senator Marc Basnight was not in attendance.

The keynote speaker at the event was David Burney, CEO of New Kind. He had a great story to tell about how we can engage people on issues related to the environment and politics in a NEW KIND of way through “stories, symbols, and airwaves.”

During the awards ceremony, NCLCV also debuted its first ever video about the organization. The film tells the story of who NCLCV is and why it matters. Featured in the video are Representatives Deborah Ross and Grier Martin, and Senator Josh Stein, along with other longtime allies and supporters. It was received with great reviews and can be accessed here: http://youtu.be/1ZbhT4u8PoQ

NC League of Conservation Voters is a statewide lobbying 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.


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