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Environment California facts for kids

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Environment California
Founded 1970s
Fields Environmentalism

Environment California is a nonprofit political organization that lobbies for environmental legislation in the U.S. state of California. It is affiliated with Environment America and the Fund for the Public Interest ("the Fund").


Environment California was formed by the California Public Interest Research Group in 2003 to take over its environmental work.

Structure and canvassing efforts

Environment California works with the Fund for the Public Interest (FFPIR) to recruit members and run campaigns across the state through canvassing offices.

FFPIR runs canvassing offices in a partnership with Environment California to raise money and build citizen support for the group. Environment California fires canvassing officers if they don't meet a certain quota throughout the week.

Bernadette Del Chiaro, Director of Environment California’s Clean Energy Program, defends the political value of the group's door and street fund raising in an official website created to respond to criticism; she states that in her experience this type of canvassing “absolutely elevated the issue in terms of public awareness, which, in turn, made it clearer to decision-makers that they needed to act”.

In contrast, the book Activism, Inc., by Columbia University sociologist Dana Fisher, says this fundraising model mistreats idealistic young people by using them as interchangeable parts and providing them with insufficient training. Fisher published this opinion after completing a 2003 study of random canvass offices throughout the United States.

On May 15, 2009, the Fund for the Public Interest (the funder for Environment California), settled for $2.15 million in a lawsuit over unpaid overtime, below-minimum wages, and unpaid training for canvassers and canvassing management and staff. The suit affects canvassers and other canvassing staff working for Environment California.

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