Today, the Piedmont chapter of the Sierra Club endorsed three candidates for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.
In a press conference in the lobby of the County Office Building, Sierra Club representatives endorsed Democratic candidates for the Scottsville District Chris Dumler (Scottsville), Ann Mallek (White Hall, current chair) and Cynthia Neff (Rivanna). In turn, the candidates vowed to work to protect the county’s land.
Tom Olivier, the group’s president, said that the Sierra Club endorses candidates “we believe have the ability to simultaneously protect the environment and provide opportunities for better lives for people.”
Dumler, an attorney running against Republican Jim Norwood, said that the city he grew up in in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, was “the poster child” for unchecked growth, something he opposes happen in Albemarle County. Dumler has served on the Albemarle County Natural Heritage Committee.
More after the photo.
The candidates with Sierra Club officials in the lobby of the Albemarle County building. Chiara Canzi photo.
Dumler said that he is “tired of the old divide” between environmental organizations and developers and wants to create an atmosphere of collaboration in attracting businesses to the county.
Mallek said that Albemarle County has a reputation of being a “progressive and sustainable place,” characteristics that can be appealing to businesses and companies thinking of making Albemarle their home. No business would want to be associated “with a place that is backwards,” she said.
Neff, who is running against Republican incumbent Ken Boyd, said that when she was a young child, her hero was John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. She emphasized the need to keep conservation easements an active tool in protecting the county’s land from sprawl and overgrowth.
The Sierra Club previously endorsed two candidates for Charlottesville City Council, Democrats Dede Smith and Colette Blount. Smith won one of the three Democratic nominations.