Interview with SD350 Member of the Month, Elaine Maltz

Elaine Maltz is the co-leader of State Legislation Committee of the Public Policy Team.

SD350: How did you get involved with SD350 and when was that?

Elaine Maltz: I joined SD350 in 2012 when I was working on the Obama campaign and have been pretty active ever since. I’ve volunteered for several activities since joining but finding out about state legislation is the most interesting. I am the original chair of the Legislative Committee. It has only existed for 3 years and has been a constant process of learning and I’m grateful to Joyce and Masada for my on-the-job training. 

SD350: What are three words that your friends would use to describe you?

EM: My friends have told me I’m caring, compassionate and hard-working. They’ve also told me to keep on volunteering for SD350 and they call me to find out what’s happening.

SD350: What success has the legislative team had? 

EM: Anytime one of the bills we have endorsed passes, we consider that a success. This has happened quite often, like SB 100, which commited California to achieving 100% clean energy by 2045. In order to get the results we want, we meet with our state legislators and their staff to promote the bills. We also collaborate with other groups across the state in their efforts to push the legislation.

SD350: What drives your activism? 

EM: I have been an “activist” since I was in high school. I attribute that to my parents. Politics was always part of our family discussion.

SD350: What else would you like people to know about you? EM:  My main interest is my extended family. I visit them as much as I can. My grandchildren are seven, eight, and nine which makes them eternally fascinating. I love gardening: the plants, the birds and bees, the wind, sun and rain. I garden at least an hour every day possible. I also enjoy reading and participating in discussions at the two book groups to which I belong.

Cultivating the Youth Leadership Movement

By: Jennifer Phelps, Youth Climate Leadership Program Leader

On Jan. 25th, SanDiego350 launched its kick-off for the Climate Youth Leaders pilot program 2020. Now more than ever, youth are at the frontlines, taking a powerful stand to ensure a sustainable future. Young people have organized some of the most successful climate strikes and environmental movements in the past year, and their numbers are growing. SanDiego350 has created a program to empower youth and harness this energy. The program is geared to train young people on how to organize actions, advocate, and motivate others to join them! 

Goals include:

  • Empower young people to take action on climate
  • Foster leadership skills
  • Provide education on the intersection of social justice and environmental justice issues
  • Create a community of like-minded youth for support and inspiration

This pilot program pairs students with experienced climate activist “coaches,” who will share their expertise throughout the six month program. Clubs also receive the newly published Fight Like a Climate Activist: Handbook and D.I.Y. Roadmap to Environmental Clubs on Campus (produced by SD350), a customized step-by-step guide to mobilize their club to take meaningful and powerful actions. The Handbook features youth leaders in the movement, as inspiration and guidance (“hot tips!”). Designed to offer flexibility, students are encouraged to personalize their approach, depending upon their specific club agenda. 

Upcoming events include: Climate Youth Leaders Summit on April 4 (full-day training, speakers, and interactive exercises), supporting students to hold effective Climate Strikes (April 22), and a celebration dinner in June to conclude the program. 

Contact Jennifer Phelps to get involved.

Interview with SD350 Member of the Month: Max Lebovitz

Max is a monthly meeting coordinator and part of the Member Engagement Team.

SD350: How did you get involved with SD350 and when was that?

Max Lebovitz: My fiancé was at a women’s march and signed up for the SD350 newsletter. Knowing that I was looking for volunteer opportunities, she forwarded an email to me that referenced a few open positions at the org. I got in touch with Masada and am now volunteering as the monthly meeting coordinator and as part of the Member Engagement Team (MET). I’ve been working with the organization for half a year. 

SD350: What are three words that your friends would use to describe you?

ML: Motivated, Diligent, Fun.

SD350: What drives your activism? 

ML: I’m well aware of the privilege and advantage I’ve had in my life coming from an educated and supportive family. I’ve been fortunate to earn my higher education, build an incredible network of friends and associates, and work for great companies. That said, I’m also well aware of the catastrophic damage our species is engendering on our world, and I feel that it’s my obligation to use my knowledge and resources to do what I can to mitigate the effects of climate change to ensure future generations can experience the world as our generation has, rather than cleaning up our mess.

SD350: What else would you like people to know about you? 

ML: I spend a lot of time outdoors: in the ocean, on a mountain, camping and wherever else I can feel connected to nature. I enjoy yoga and training Aikido. I’m also a sports fanatic from Los Angeles: Go Lakers, Go Dodgers, Go Kings, Go Rams. And I went to Colorado, Boulder, for my bachelor degree (Go Buffs!). Other than that, I’m a big family guy, love to read, and to travel as much as I can; especially down to Mexico.

Interview with SD350 Member of the Month: Toshi Ishihara

Toshi is a SD350 board member and co-chair of the Transportation Committee.
SD350: How did you get involved with SD350 and when was that?

Toshi Ishihara: I participated in the climate march that was organized by SD350 in Sept. 2018. Back then, I just stopped working as a manager at a high tech company because I was so concerned with Climate Change that I could not ignore the inner calling deep in my heart. I became a member of the Public Policy Team in Nov 2018 and since then, I have been an active member of PPT and its transportation committee. I just became a board member this month!

SD350: What are three words that your friends would use to describe you?

TI: Caring, Empowering and Empathetic.

SD350: What drives your activism? 

TI: Since I was a little kid, I was against any sort of discrimination based on race, gender, etc. I became interested in technology when I was in high school, and started studying about renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, and tidal. I wanted to pursue a PhD in renewable energy because I was concerned with the negative impacts on our environment and future by humans’ unstoppable desire for more  energy and electricity. But, back then, the government did not support research on renewable energy and because I needed financial support to pursue a PhD, I changed my focus from renewable energy to Optics and Lasers. However, I was unable to continue ignoring the desire deep down in my heart and I decided to give up my lucrative high tech manager career and spend the rest of my life to help fight Climate Change.

SD350: What else would you like people to know about you?

TI:  I gave up my own career and financial security to work to help this world remain livable and enjoyable for future generations and all living species.