The 2012 Green Tie event was held on Wednesday, June 20th from 6-9 p.m. at the Downtown Sheraton (421 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh). The event was attended by nearly 200 business, environmental, and political leaders from across the state.
The keynote speaker at the event was David Burney, CEO of New Kind. He had a great story to tell about how we can engage people on issues related to the environment and politics in a NEW KIND of way through “stories, symbols, and airwaves.”
Defender of the Environment
Representative Pricey Harrison – The 2012 Defender of the Environment award was presented to Representative Pricey Harrison for her consistent willingness to defend against bad environmental legislation, and her commitment to protecting our state’s precious natural heritage. In the past, Representative Harrison has lead the charge on many sound environmental policies from a strong renewable energy portfolio standard, to keeping mountain top removal coal out of NC, to CFL lightbulbs, to a host of other issues. During the last session Rep. Harrison was the ONLY legislator to receive a 100% score on the NCLCV scorecard. Recently she made an impassioned plea for a science-based consideration of fracking against those shortsightedly rushing to drill. She fights for our public health and our long-term environmental well-being. In short, she walks the walk (or rides the bike) on all things environment in North Carolina.
Representatives of the Year
Representative Martha Alexander – The 2012 Representative of the Year award was presented to Representative Martha Alexander. Representative Alexander has been fighting the good fight for 19 years at the Legislature, but advocating for her community well before that. She has a lifetime pro-conservation score from NCLCV of 97% and had a 92 last year when the average scores plummeted to 42%. This year she has been a cosponsor of the Omnibus energy bill that would make our current energy policy even stronger. She co-sponsored the Water Efficiency Act that would help our state reduce its water usage, and she co-sponsored a bill to protect our children from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals by banning them from being sold here. Rep. Alexander understands the importance of protecting our environment and makes it a top priority.
Representative Verla Insko – The 2012 Representative of the Year award was presented to Representative Verla Insko for her consistent ability to prioritize protecting our environment when making hard decisions, her long-time and effective willingness to engage with the environmental community, and taking members to task in the Environmental Committee when they are threatening our state’s resources. Representative Insko has a long record of public service in North Carolina that began in the late 1970s, but she began serving in the House in 1994. Since then, she has received countless public health awards and her consistent support for public health has naturally translated into a robust record of voting for pro-environment legislation. Recently, she has successfully championed laws including local energy efficiency incentives and solar collectors on residential properties. And she has earned one of the highest NCLCV scorecard rankings in the entire legislature, voting the pro-conservation way 97% of the time.
The “Rising Star” award highlights the fact that these winners are some of the newer voices that our citizens can count on to make sure the environment is a priority when hard decisions have to be made. These legislators will make the environment an issue they champion as they move into leadership positions.
Representative Patsy Keever – A 2012 Rising Star award was presented to Representative Patsy Keever, a former school teacher representing Asheville & Buncombe County. After knocking out a member of National LCV’s dirty dozen in 2010, she hit the ground running when she co-sponsored the landmark NC Water Efficiency Act to cut water consumption in half by 2035. Representative Keever was targeted in redistricting and has courageously chosen to take on NC Representative Patrick McHenry, instead of running against another pro-conservation friend, Representative Susan Fisher.
Representative Chuck McGrady – A 2012 Rising Star award was presented to Representative Chuck McGrady of Henderson County. Representative McGrady served as the national president of the Sierra Club, the Executive Director of the Environmental & Conservation Organization of Henderson County, and a founding director of both the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy and the Friends of DuPont Forest. Last year Representative McGrady was the only Republican to vote against S 709, the first bill that would have fast tracked fracking and offshore drilling in North Carolina. After S 709 was vetoed by the governor, Representative McGrady remained in steadfast support of public health and environmental protection, announcing that he would not attempt to override the veto in the legislature. The environmental community is fortunate to have Representative McGrady as an ally.
New this year and named after former Speaker and long-time environmental leader Joe Hackney, “The Joe” honors environmental champions who will not be returning to the Legislature. Their leadership will be sorely missed.
Representative Joe Hackney – The first 2012 “The Joe” was presented to its namesake, Representative Joe Hackney. Representative Hackney has been firmly committed to protecting our environment, as a leader and as an advocate since NCLCV’s beginning. He leaves office with a legacy of advocating for all things environmental for the past 32 years. He has received numerous environmental awards during those years, including the inaugural Jane Sharp Lifetime Environmental Achievement Award from NCLCV in 2007.
Representative Grier Martin – Representative Grier Martin was awarded “The Joe” for his pragmatic presence in the state legislature since 2004. An Afghanistan War Veteran, Representative Martin has repeatedly worked to protect North Carolina’s environment and public health while also encouraging smart, clean growth. Last year, he worked to promote local energy efficiency and the growth of Smart Grid technology that has the potential to save North Carolina huge amounts of energy while creating new green jobs.
Representative Jennifer Weiss – Representative Jennifer Weiss was also awarded “The Joe.” Since she was first elected in 1999 Jennifer Weiss has been an environmental champion in the House. She has fought to limit North Carolina’s involvement in mountaintop coal removal. She has encouraged the integration of fuel efficient vehicles in the NC motor fleet, and she has worked on legislation to increase public safety related to toxic coal ash, and so many other issues. Just recently she proposed a bill to promote renewable energy jobs in North Carolina.
Senator Marc Basnight – Senator Marc Basnight was awarded The Joe for his lifetime defense of North Carolina’s coasts & coastal citizens in the state Senate from 1984 to 2011. Senator Basnight championed the protection of coastal habitats, fought to keep our waterways clean, was the driving force behind the Clean water management trust fund, and, recently, successfully advocated for the state’s first plastic bag ban in the outer banks