The Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter is honored to launch the Jonathan Ela Activist Fund
Jonathan Ela is a lifetime Sierra Club member and environmentalist who has dedicated his life to preserving natural ecosystems, fighting climate change, acid rain and other threats and protecting our water and land for future generations.
Over the years, Ela has played a key role in electing pro-conservation leaders to public office and enacting strong policies to protect natural resources. As Political Chair and Vice President for Politics, Jonathan Ela helped steer the Sierra Club to electoral success in 2006 and 2008. He also became a director of Sierra Club’s Independent Action political initiative following the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
While serving on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, Ela helped protect public lands, adopted strong mercury controls, and approved the country’s strongest rule to restrict phosphorus in order to reduce algal growth on lakes, rivers and streams. In 2009, Jonathan Ela received the William Colby award for “outstanding leadership, dedication, and service to the Sierra Club”. Ela spent a number of years as a Sierra Club staff member. He was assistant conservation director under Michael McCloskey from 1969-1971 and Midwest representative in Madison, Wis., from 1971-1983. He founded the Midwest Office, covering 11 Midwest states at the time of its inception. His founding this office brought a stronger Sierra Club presence to the Midwest, which expanded it reach from focusing the organization’s work primarily on the two coasts. Ela is also a former staffer for US Senator Gaylord Nelson.
The Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter is Wisconsin’s branch of the nation’s oldest, most influential grassroots environmental organization. Our 15,000 members follow in the footsteps of legendary conservationists who have helped protect Wisconsin’s beautiful natural features from John Muir and Aldo Leopold to Gaylord Nelson. Our priorities are promoting clean energy and protecting Wisconsin’s fragile land and water resources. The John Muir Chapter achieves our conservation goals through education, litigation, legislative and administrative lobbying and supporting the election of strong environmental leaders in elections, since one of our best hopes for long term gains is building a strong legislative base to protect our environment. We also celebrate our connections with the natural world through our outings, which include group hikes, biking events, camping trips, paddling adventures and more.
The Jonathan Ela Activist Fund will be an unrestricted, non-tax-deductible fund that will be used to support the John Muir Chapter’s efforts to recruit the next generation of Sierra Club leaders; to elect conservation champions to local, state and federal office; and to enhance our legislative lobbying presence in the State Capitol to support lasting policies to protect Wisconsin’s natural resources.
Click here to make a donation to the Jonathan Ela activist fund today, and RSVP for our Locally Grown, Nationally Known event to honor Jonathan on July 26 at Olin - Turville Park in Madison!