Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America
OK Radio host Lynne Norton speaks with Margie Alt, Executive Director of Environment America. Margie shares how Environment America engages the public and its team to accomplish its mission.
What are the ways that Environment America is engaging and mobilizing the public? How is Environment America going to staff up and hire more people to accomplish its mission? What are the benefits of their fellowship program and environmental advocacy positions?
Ms. Alt is the Executive Director of Environment America. She oversees all aspects of the organization, from policy and strategy development for major campaigns to building the organization’s visibility and field power, to recruiting and training hundreds of staff and activists.
Prior to the launch of Environment America, Ms. Alt spent 25 years building U.S. PIRG and the state PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups). While at PIRG she helped oversee the passage and implementation of Renewable Energy Standards in 20+ states, passage of vehicle emissions standards in 12 states, restoration of protections to national forests, passage of state and federal ethics reform, defense of the public’s right to know about chemical exposures and protections for local parks and beaches.
Since 1989, Ms. Alt served as the Executive Director of the Center for Public Interest Research, leading efforts to build effective and self-sufficient state PIRG organizations and run successful public interest programs across the country. As Executive Director for the Center, Ms. Alt assisted state directors and advocates around the country in strengthening their programs, building their membership base, and becoming financially independent organizations. She has recruited, trained and overseen numerous staff and conducted literally hundreds of training sessions on topics ranging from running meetings and raising funds to developing campaigns and building and activating members.
In 2004, Ms. Alt oversaw the student PIRGs’ New Voters Project, which registered 524,000 young (18- to 24-year-old) voters in 22 states and made 500,000 contacts with students and other young people reminding them to vote, including 48,000 contacts on Election Day alone. Under Ms. Alt’s guidance, the 2004 New Voters Project hired more than 150 organizers who worked to recruit, train, and develop more than 10,000 young volunteers to spearhead the effort—the nation’s largest non-partisan grassroots youth voter mobilization and student activist training project of the 2004 election.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Alt successfully directed MASSPIRG’s statewide campaign to establish the nation’s first Toxics Use Reduction Law in 1989. This landmark legislation has become a national model for reducing unnecessary use of toxic chemicals, helping to reduce the generation of toxic waste in the state by 50 percent. Ms. Alt also served as the national Field Director for U.S. PIRG, running one of the largest field operations in the public interest community. From 1982 to 1988 Ms. Alt held positions ranging from MASSPIRG Campus Organizing Director to Citizen Outreach Director for the first citizen outreach program for Florida PIRG. Ms. Alt started her organizing career with the PIRGs, upon graduation from Yale in 1982. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.
:45 – Mission of Environment America
1:39 – Federal campaign and your priorities
3:05 – Engaging and mobilizing the public
5:17 – Plans to hire more people
6:48 – Fellowship program and environmental advocacy positions
9:12 – Advice and encouragement during challenging economic times
11:34 – Ok IF? If Margie If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would it be?
Click here to view current job listings for Environment America.