Press Release
April 5, 2011

Contact: Jenesse Miller, CLCV – 510.844.0235

California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) Announces New Chair and Vice-Chairs of CLCV Board of Directors

OAKLAND & LOS ANGELES, Calif.  (April 5, 2011) – The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) – the political arm of the environmental movement in California – announced today that Board member Rick Zbur of Los Angeles has been elected to serve as its new Chair of the Board of Directors. The new leadership on the Board is completed by the election of Board members Susan Frank (Silicon Valley) and Leslie Friedman Johnson (Sacramento) to Vice-Chairs of the Board.

Rick Zbur is a partner in the Environment, Land & Resources Department in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins LLP, practicing in all areas of environmental law and specializing in land use, governmental and administrative law, air quality compliance and transportation issues.  Susan Frank is Executive Vice President of The Better World Group – an environmental policy and strategic communications firm. Leslie Friedman Johnson is co-founder of Conservation Strategy Group, LLC, a Sacramento-based consulting firm specializing in environmental and natural resources strategy and advocacy.

“Rick Zbur, Susan Frank and Leslie Friedman Johnson are all veteran leaders of and champions for California’s environmental movement and I’m thrilled that they are stepping into these new roles in service of the environment and of CLCV,” said Tom Adams, outgoing CLCV Board President. “The sum of their impressive talents in politics, public policy, coalition management, and in the legal and business arenas provides a rock-solid foundation for our important work to accomplish three major priorities: to elect an environmental majority in the state legislature, engage more diverse conservation voters in the democratic process, and preserve and advance California’s public health and environmental progress.”

“For over a decade, CLCV Board President Tom Adams has used his considerable political and policy expertise to protect and advance environmental laws and elect the champions that make California a national and global conservation policy leader,” said CLCV Chief Executive Officer Warner Chabot. “Our community is incredibly grateful for Tom’s unique leadership on four historic statewide, environmental initiatives. He served on the steering committee that crushed Proposition 23, the Dirty Energy Initiative. He also served as co-chair of successful statewide campaigns to defeat Proposition 90 in 2006 and Proposition 98 in 2008, and to enact Proposition 99 in 2008. In addition, Tom led CLCV’s successful efforts to co-sponsor and pass SB 375, a landmark bill to link climate, transportation and land use policy.”

“Along with Tom’s continued service as a Board member, our new Board leadership ensures that our movement will advance a strong environmental, public health, and clean energy jobs agenda in an increasingly complex and challenging political and economic climate,” said Chabot.

“For nearly 40 years, CLCV has worked to elect environmental champions and hold them accountable. Rick Zbur will continue this legacy as the next Chair of the Board of CLCV,” said Speaker of the Assembly and former CLCV Board member John A. Pérez. “I look forward to working with Rick, his Vice-Chairs Susan Frank and Leslie Friedman Johnson, and the rest of the Board and staff of CLCV to make sure my fellow lawmakers represent Californians’ values by protecting our unique and diverse communities and natural resources.”

Rick Zbur, Susan Frank and Leslie Friedman Johnson take the helm of CLCV’s Board at a time of great momentum in California’s environmental movement, with the 2010 election of many environmental champions to statewide offices and to the state legislature, the decisive victory of a coalition of labor, clean tech, business, consumer, health, and environmental groups over oil companies’ deceptive Proposition 23, and the recent passage of a critical renewable energy bill by the state legislature. However, it is also a time of great concern about the impact of budget cuts on California’s environmental protections and coordinated industry attacks on bedrock laws like the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), as well as uncertainly about the impacts of redistricting and the state’s new “top-two” primary system on the ability to elect an environmental majority.

“This is a critical time for the conservation movement in California, the nation’s leading environmental state. I am excited by the potential for CLCV to harness the public’s energy and enthusiasm for California’s clean energy future—one that protects our public health while growing our economy—to forge a new and enduring environmental majority in the state legislature,” said incoming CLCV Board Chair Rick Zbur. “I thank outgoing Board President Tom Adams and all of my fellow Board members for their tremendous leadership over the years, and I’m confident that together we will continue to build a greener California for future generations.”

Zbur will assume the duties of Chair of the Board of Directors on June 11, 2011. Frank and Friedman Johnson took on the responsibilities of Vice-Chairs as of CLCV’s March 2011 meeting of the Board of Directors.

California Environmental Voters (formerly the California League of Conservation Voters) believes the climate crisis is here and this moment requires transformative change. California has the policy solutions to stop climate change but lacks the political will to do it at the rate and scale that’s necessary. EnviroVoters exists to build the political power to solve the climate crisis, advance justice, and create a roadmap for global action. We organize voters, elect and train candidates, and hold lawmakers accountable for bold policy change. We won’t stop until we have resilient, healthy, thriving communities, and a democracy and economy that is just and sustainable for all. Join us at and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. See more press releases.

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