Chapter Executive Committee candidate statements

There are three candidates for three open spots on the Rio Grande Chapter Executive Committee. If you are a Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter member, you may vote on Executive Committee elections. To vote, click here before 5 p.m. Jan. 6.

Patrick Madden: 

I am half Irish, half Spanish.  My great-grandfather, Belarmino de Jesus Trujillo, was a New Mexico state legislator when this territory became a state. I am a staunch Democrat and Eagle Scout and work for the New Mexico Federation of Labor in politics. My issues are infrastructure, water quality, energy, education and social mobility!


David Coss: 

I’m a lifelong New Mexican.  I’ve served in elective office 12 years as both a city councilor and mayor of Santa Fe. I am currently retired from a career in natural-resources management with both the State Land Office and the New Mexico Environment Department. In addition, I spent 9 years as an organizer and officer in my union representing state workers.

I think the Sierra Club is a very progressive and effective organization. I appreciate its focus on inclusivity and alliance-building and I want to make sure we protect New Mexico during these critical times. I am especially interested in stopping any border wall from going through New Mexico (or anywhere else in the Southwest.)


Eric Patterson:

My name is Eric E. Paterson. I am a retired chemistry teacher. I have taught in Taos High School (three years) and at Hoffman Estates High School in suburban Chicago (23 years). My undergraduate degree is in chemistry. I have sponsored environmental clubs in both schools. I am running for a seat on the Rio Grande Chapter executive committee. I was appointed to the ex-com last year to fill a vacancy.

I have been a Sierra Club member since 1971 and served as Chair of the Northwest Cook Group in Illinois before moving to Valdez, New Mexico, in 2005. I am currently coordinator of the the Sierra Club volunteer team called Water Sentinels — Rios de Taos, which I started nine years ago. Our team monitors water quality of streams in Taos County. We work with the New Mexico Bureau of Surface Water Quality and the non-profit Amigos Bravos.

If elected, I will try to focus on two concepts:

First, I want to involve young people in environmental activities. If they do not get outdoors and learn to love our  environment, they are not likely to fight to defend it when they are older. I have received a grant from the Grassroots Network of the Sierra Club to work with high-school students. I currently volunteer to assist the environmental club at Taos High School, the Tiger Salamanders. I would like to extend this work to other schools in New Mexico.

Second, I would like to start other water-monitoring teams in our state. Water is a precious resource in our state, and we would like to make sure that it is clean and unpolluted.

Chapter Executive Committee candidate statements