Robin Schneider started her activist career in high school as a 17-year-old canvasser for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) raising funds door-to-door to assist pro-ERA candidates. During college she led a campaign that stopped a plan to drill for oil on the UCLA campus, which would have displaced the university’s childcare center. She also led a delegation of 18 college students that traveled to Florida in early 1982 to work for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Robin was selected for a legislative fellowship in 1983 and worked on environmental issues during her that year. She then gained campaign experience leading a voter registration campaign that signed up more than 17,000 voters in less than four months.
For eight years, Robin worked for a women’s rights group and developed winning strategies for lobbying and electoral campaigns. In the mid-1990’s, she became a volunteer English instructor at a teacher’s training college in Northeast Thailand for two years. Upon returning to the States, she worked as a civil rights investigator.
Robin began working with Texas Campaign for the Environment and its sister organization Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund in 1997. Under Robin’s direction, TCE took a leading role in the campaign to close the Grandfather Loophole in the Texas Clean Air Act, for which she was dubbed the “Best Advocate for Breathers” by The Austin Chronicle.
She is a Vice Chair of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition and played a key role in successfully pressuring Dell, the campaign’s first corporate target, to take back its obsolete products and support producer takeback policies. TCE also played a key role in convincing Apple and Samsung and other TV companies to support and start producer takeback recycling programs. She is a leading voice for producer takeback and recycling issues at the Texas State Capitol.
In 2004, TCE won a second “Best of Austin” award (in conjunction with Dell) for “The Best New Partnership” from The Austin Chronicle. Robin was named a “Green Giant” by Austin Monthly in April 2007.
Under Robin’s direction, TCE has also been working with landfill neighbors to impact local trash and recycling issues and statewide legislation. In addition, she was an early advocate for Zero Waste policies and helped shepard the adoption of Austin’s Zero Waste goal and plans. Robin is also the Executive Director of TCE’s sister organization TCE Fund. She serves on the Board of Earth Share of Texas for TCE Fund. Her spouse works on land restoration projects at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Research Center. She has been active with AFS Intercultural Programs as a high school exchange student to Kenya in 1977 and has hosted exchange students from Ghana, Indonesia, Turkey, Kosovo and Afghanistan. She lived in Northeastern Thailand for 2 years as a volunteer English teacher at a teacher training college and enjoys making Thai food at home.
Robin’s favorite spots in Texas are Big Bend National Park and Barton Springs.