At the beginning of the year we said farewell to our wonderful Managing Consultant Randall Miller, PhD, who capably served SF Bay PSR for two years. We are grateful to Randall for his leadership and work to reinvigorate our programming, expand our communications, and help us to learn and integrate equity and justice into all our programming.
We also said farewell to Tara Weekes, SF Bay PSR’s executive assistant. We could not have accomplished so much without Tara’s dedication to our communities, events, the gala, and so many other tasks. Thank you!
We welcome back Marj Plumb as our managing consultant. Marj served SF Bay PSR for more than two decades and has now returned to share her expertise in nonprofit building. As founder of Plumbline Coaching and Consulting (since 1998), Marj is a non-profit consultant and trainer who focuses on public policy advocacy, and organizational and leadership development. In 2020, she served as interim executive director of the national advocacy organization Breast Cancer Action and worked with the Black Futures Lab to create a new US-wide public policy training program for black advocates. For 16 years, Marj served as founder and director of the Women’s Foundation of California’s Women’s Policy Institute. She also created and ran the UCSF Reach the Decision Makers, which trained over 100 scientists, community members, clinicians and public health professionals over six years to effectively promote science and health-based policies at the USEPA.
We are thrilled that Alma Hernandez, Building Electrification intern, and Jasmine Campos, Communications and Nuclear Weapons Abolition Committee intern, are both staying another six months.
Our Environmental Health Intern Daisy Valdivieso is leaving us in March. Thank you Daisy for contributing so much to our policy advocacy efforts, our newsletters, and for your excellent support of the EH committee.
Daisy kindly shared with us three things she learned while interning with SF Bay PSR.
1. I learned what it means to be a health professional in the wake of our changing climate. Before my internship, I knew it was crucial that health advocates did not speak over the voices of climate scientists or of vulnerable communities who would be disproportionately impacted by climate change. I have always been passionate about using health as a platform to communicate objective action, but I did not know exactly what that looked like in this field of advocacy. Watching the members of SF Bay PSR listen to other organizations, uplift and highlight important work, and show up to support demonstrations, but also write petitions, lead events, and provide testimony, gave me a tangible concept of the role of health professionals in health and climate advocacy.
2. I am also most grateful for the incredible celebration of everyone’s efforts. Big or small, each meeting at SF Bay PSR highlighted and congratulated work done by members. I walked away from each meeting most inspired by the positivity which keeps folks motivated through the challenges of advocacy and policy work. When meeting late at night after a long day of work, this celebration of others’ work is not to be underestimated. I spent many hours tracking the various policies and petitions that SF Bay PSR was involved in, and I was always motivated to do more because of the appreciation for my work.
3. As simple as it sounds, I was thoroughly surprised by the level of creativity available in this work at SF Bay PSR and beyond. I was exposed to this wide myriad of events, government entities, non-profit organizations, coalitions, school projects, curriculum development, medical societies, racial equity reading groups, webinars, demonstrations, the list goes on… I found that there are so many ways to creatively communicate the health effects of climate change, to shift our materialistic culture, to get involved with communities and focus on equity, etc. There is a massive patchwork forming this greater movement that invites and welcomes creativity and collaboration. More than anything, this gives me hope!
Next career steps: I will be applying to medical school in the 2022-2023 application cycle. Should I be accepted, I hope to contribute to the incredible climate and health advocacy projects by health and medical students nationwide, in addition to my medical education.
Thank you Daisy! We will miss you!
Please join us in welcoming our new Environmental Health Intern, Allie Smith.
Allie Smith is a master’s in Public Health student at UC Berkeley concentrating in Environmental Health Sciences. She is very excited to join the PSR team as the Environmental Health Committee intern, and is eager to learn more about how public health practitioners and physicians are using their voices to advocate for environmental justice and address health disparities. Her interests include climate change impacts, air pollution and pesticide exposure, and access to clean water. She is especially interested in how these issues impact reproductive health and the health of workers in California. She is looking forward to working closely with the Environmental Health Committee members to learn from their many years of experience advocating for transformative policy change!