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SEPTEMBER 3, 1998   1:50PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sierra Club
Holly Minch (202) 675-7903
Sierra Club Named Most Influential Environmental Organization
WASHINGTON - September 3 - An independent survey has named the Sierra Club the mostinfluential environmental organization in Washington. The study, released today by the Aspen Institute Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, asked every member of Congress and key federal officials to "name the (two) national nonprofit organizations that you believe have the most influence on federal policy" in each of six issue areas.   On environmental issues, the survey named the Sierra Club and the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) as the two most influential organizations, with the Sierra Club receiving more than double the number of responses as NFIB.

"This survey result is a tribute to the 550,000 members of the Sierra Club who give us the political clout to influence policy makers," said Carl Pope, the Sierra Club's Executive Director.  "Policy makers listen to the Sierra Club because we represent their constituents and the vast majority of Americans who believe in strong environmental protections."

The survey comes as the Sierra Club is broadening its grassroots and media efforts to educate the public, on environmental issues, Administrative policy actions and Congressional votes. The organization has shifted 80% of the resources once spent on lobbying in Washington to grassroots organizing and public education in communities across America. The Sierra Club operates on the principle that the simplest way to push for stronger environmental standards is to give the public the information and the means to make their voices heard.

"This survey shows that the way to have clout in the Beltway is by addressing the concerns that people have about local issues -- like the air their children breathe and the water they drink," added Pope.  "It's a good sign for our democracy that grassroots organizations like the Sierra Club are able to translate the basic American value of a healthy environment into real influence in the nation's Capitol."

The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization, with 550,000 members in 65 chapters and 408 groups nationwide. These individuals are using grassroots activism and community action to protect America's environment, for our families, for our future.

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