Environmentalists form political action group

December 01, 1993|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Staff Writer

A group of Anne Arundel County voters concerned about environmental issues is forming a political action committee to endorse candidates in next year's county elections.

Organizers of the PAC, tentatively named Anne Arundel Voters for Environmental Justice, will help identify, endorse and work for candidates who support environmental issues, said Joan Willey, regional representative of the Sierra Club and one of the organizers.

"We want to make sure people who run for these seats represent the majority of the people in these districts," Ms. Willey said.

The group brings together about 30 environmentalists, women's rights advocates and civic activists who are concerned about growth and quality-of-life issues, she said.

The formation of the PAC was spurred by the successes of similar organizations in other jurisdictions, said Mary Rosso, president of the Maryland Waste Coalition and a member of an environmental PAC in Baltimore.

"It was time for Anne Arundel to do something," she said.

With three County Council members and the county executive stepping down next year, the group saw an opportunity to influence the selection of new candidates. "We have a tremendous potential now," Ms. Willey said.

The PAC also plans to become involved in State House campaigns in the county.

Although the coalition started with environmentalists, its focus has broadened. The group is using the phrase "economic justice" to reflect issues of housing, poverty, education and women's rights.

"It's not just the Greens," Ms. Rosso said.

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