Environmental Activists for Sherrod: Meet Vicky, Heather, and Alicia

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Environmental Activists for Sherrod: Meet Vicky, Heather, and Alicia

This week, we’re excited to launch Environmental Activists for Sherrod, a constituent group focused on Sherrod’s extensive work to protect Ohio’s environment.

Sherrod is a tireless advocate for environmental issues: He’s working hard to protect the Great Lakes, bring clean energy jobs to Ohio, and advance clean, renewable energy.

To celebrate the launch of this group, we’re highlighting the co-chairs of Environmental Activists for Sherrod: three Ohioans who know through personal experience the value of environmental advocacy, and why it’s so important that we continue to fight for a better future for our state.

Vicky Mattson

Vicky serves as Political Chair of the Ohio Chapter of the Sierra Club. She’s also an activist who works hard as a volunteer to preserve wilderness in our public lands, An active hiker, Vicky spent 18 years in Moab, Utah. Her environmental policy studies have focused on the National Landscape System of National Monuments.  

Vicky is also a strong proponent of meaningful action to reduce carbon pollution and advance clean energy, while ensuring all generations have clean, safe air and water.

While a majority of Americans agree that we don’t have to choose between a clean environment and a strong economy, Vicky finds it frustrating that activists still have to fight to convince some lawmakers that the Great Lakes are worthy of protection. Just earlier this year, the Trump administration pushed for a budget slashing funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90%.

“Right now, our ability to protect the Great Lakes is under attack,” Vicky said. “Proposed budget cuts would strip crucial funding to protect the lakes from pollution and harmful invasive species, but Senator Brown has been our champion fighting back and demanding that funding remain in place.”

Vicky is proud to support Sherrod, who fights hard to protect the Great Lakes, encourages investment in offshore wind, and continuously pushes to make clean energy—and the jobs that come with it—a reality in the state.

“Sherrod Brown stood with Ohioans to protect our clean air and water,” Vicky said. “He’s stood with Ohioans to protect the Great Lakes. And he’s stood with Ohioans to bring clean energy jobs to our state. Sherrod Brown has stood for us, and the Sierra Club is proud to stand with him.”

Heather Taylor-Miesle


Heather is the President of the Ohio Environmental Action Fund. For more than 20 years, she’s advocated for improved environmental and public health protections, and has worked with national decision-makers to shine a light on environmental issues.

Emphasizing that many Americans are already experiencing the effects of climate change on a day-to-day basis, Heather knows how important it is to protect the environments that are vital to our communities—like the Great Lakes.

“We need to work towards a future where no community is suffering because a company doesn’t know how to clean up its mess,” she said. “We need to work towards a future where all kids can play outside without worrying about an asthma attack. We need to leave this world better than we found it. Senator Brown is working towards that future.”

Heather commends Sherrod for his work to protect Lake Erie, while supporting smart policies to address air pollution.

“Ohioans are lucky to have an environmental champion like Senator Brown,” she said.

Alicia Smith

Alicia serves as Director of the Junction Coalition, a community based Non-profit Organization focused on economic and environmental justice in Toledo. In 2014, she became heavily involved in efforts to alert residents in her neighborhood—the Junction neighborhood of Toledo—to the Toledo Water Crisis.

As a neighborhood activist with the Junction Coalition, Alicia worked tirelessly to alert members of her community—many of whom were simply unaware of the widespread impact of the crisis—about the toxins in the water, knocking on doors to educate her neighbors about the danger. She’s organized the neighborhood around a range of local environmental issues, including water quality, flood protection, and vacant and blighted properties.

“If a community does not fight for its own environmental justice, it will not have any,” she said.

Alicia is proud to support Sherrod, who recognizes the issues that communities like hers face across the state.

“Senator Brown helped us in our fight for environmental justice,” she said. “When citizens in Toledo couldn’t drink, bathe in, or even touch our water, we had to find solutions and act fast. Senator Brown took our story to the Senate and helped pass funding to make sure that communities like ours had the tools to educate ourselves, teach others, and prevent another crisis like the one in 2014.”