Meet our Sierra Club Liaison

by Chris Calvert (USAF vet)

Greetings fellow caucus members, my name is Chris Calvert, and I am the caucus liaison with the Sierra Club. Currently I serve as chair of the Veteran’s Advisory Board (VAB) for the City of Santa Fe. Immediately prior, I served two four-year terms on the Santa Fe City Council.  As for my military service, I was in the Air Force from 1970-1975.  Most of that time I served as a C-141 pilot, stationed at Travis AFB, flying missions across the Pacific to Vietnam and Thailand. In addition, I am also on the Political Committee of the Rio Grande Chapter (NM) of the Sierra Club and a member of its Northern Group Executive Committee.

What the heck does a Liaison do?

Caucus liaison with the Sierra Club, what the heck is that about you might ask. Well, many of our Caucus members also care deeply about the natural environment. The same call to serve our nation to protect it for future generations, also calls many of us to service in protection of our natural environment. We want to leave this earth to others in as good, if not better, shape than we inherited. We figured why not collaborate when our goals overlap. Together we are stronger and more impactful. For example, we both want effective legislators and representatives that will champion our agendas. If we share our evaluations and can agree on the best candidate, then we can share information and pool resources to get that candidate elected.

In particular, the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club recently interviewed all eight Democratic candidates for the CD1 nomination, and chose to endorse Melanie Stansbury before the State Central Committee vote. We can now share our insights on this candidate and work together to get her elected June 1.

On a slightly different note, the Sierra Club is well known for its advocacyof all things environmental. However it has been accused of being elitist and catering to white America. In an effort to broaden its appeal and base of support, the Sierra Club has expanded its emphasis to include matters of social, racial, economic and environmental justice and equity. For example,the Sierra Club works with minority communities to fight the location of polluting industries in their “backyards”.

Get outdoors, take a hike, enjoy our beautiful environment!

The Sierra Club’s Military Outdoors Program is of particular interest to Caucus members. It’s intended to help military personnel transitioning to civilian life, especially those diagnosed with PTSD.  The immersion in outdoor activities has proven to be quite therapeutic for participants. In New Mexico, the person in charge of the program is also the Chapter’s Outings Chair.

Want more information on the Military Outdoors Program? Want to plug into the Club’s general outdoor activities?

Terry Owen is your contact (  505-301-4349.  If you want more info on Sierra Club activities in general, and/or opportunities to volunteer; your contact is Miya King-Flaherty (  505-243-7767). Visit our website.