New Organization to Champion Healthy Ecosystems in Local Politics

June, 2014


Humboldt County has a wealth of conservation, restoration and environmental protection organizations. From educational programs and shoreline cleanups, to sustainable timber harvest and safe trails, there are literally hundreds of people working full-time to reconnect our communities with our planet and recreate a stewardship ethic that ensures clean water, clean air, and healthy ecosystems for generations to come. This work takes place, in large part, due to the generosity and support of many thousands of people throughout the county who give their time and money to these organizations and the causes they are dedicated to. 

Creating a new organization is challenging, but those challenges are magnified in Humboldt County’s environmental movement—where finite resources are already spread painfully thin. However, over recent years there has been an undeniable and alarming shift away from conservation, sustainability, and environmental protection in local politics. With so many strong and effective non-profit organizations focused on environmental issues, it is counterintuitive that local governments should so poorly reflect our values. 

There is a simple reason for the disparity between our community and our government: non-profit organizations are completely prohibited from supporting candidates for elected office—even in non-monetary ways—while for-profit corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. The hundreds of hard-working advocates and restorationists—as well as the thousands of people who volunteer and donate to the good work—have been limited in their ability to defend Humboldt County from the organized big money that flowed into local campaigns.  It is this double standard that has created the need for Humboldt County Conservation Action (HCCA).  

HCCA is the new, nonpartisan, political arm of Humboldt County’s environmental movement. The mission is simple: HCCA seeks to create and maintain...environmental majorities on the local City Councils and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Additionally HCCA will work with members, friends, neighbors and partner organizations to provide consistent and clear articulation of community values to local and state government,  and constantly stimulate and participate in innovative community dialogue about land-use, environmental protection, and economic development. 

Over the last several years we have watched in frustration as carefully crafted statements of community values have been thrown out, environmental frustrations have been eroded, and fear based polarizing rhetoric has paralyzed the system. Over the next several years, HCCA looks forward to empowering the environmental community with a political organization. It is time that clean air, clean water, restored fisheries, local food, livable communities, and environmental protection become central priorities for our local government the same way they are priorities to the majority of Humboldt’s residents. We here at HCCA look forward to the challenge. We hope you will join us! 

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