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Robin Schneider Awarded Hal Suter Environmental Alliance Award

September 24, 2020

The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club awards its first-ever Hal Suter Environmental Alliance Award to TCE Executive Director Robin Schneider.

The public is invited to attend the Award ceremony online Saturday, October 3 at 6 PM.

Named for Hal Suter, a recently departed and much loved activist leader, this new award is given to the person who has helped further environmental goals through collaboration. It commemorates Henry “Hal” Suter, who was a champion for alliances to fight harm to his beloved state, its beaches, and its clean air and water. Hal was a master at bringing people together to find common interests and form effective coalitions.

Robin Schneider shares the art and science of bringing people and organizations together for impactful environmental change.

Many people know Robin for her leadership of TCE. Her activism actually began in high school. At 17, Robin canvassed 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. While at UCLA, she also led a delegation of 18 college students to Florida in 1982 to campaign for the ERA. Robin was selected for a legislative fellowship in 1983 and worked on environmental policy issues 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. Robin spent the next eight years working for a women’s rights group and developing winning strategies for lobbying and electoral campaigns. 

Robin joined Texas Campaign for the Environment (TCE) 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.

TCE played a key role in successfully pressuring Dell, Apple, Samsung, and other TV companies to take back their obsolete products and support producer take-back policies. 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 works 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 shepherd the adoption of Austin’s Zero Waste goal and plans. 

Robin plays a key leadership role alongside Sierra Club staff and its allies in the work to address the climate change crisis by stopping coal-fired power plants and transitioning off fossil fuels.  She brings TCE’s door-to-door canvassing power to those fights and also joins in key lawsuits, media campaigns, and legislative training and lobbying efforts. Robin collaborates in the leadership of Texas regional alliances — the Alliance for a Clean Texas, the Permian Gulf Coast Coalition and national alliances, Break Free From Plastics, Stop the Money Pipeline, and Insure Our Future.  While simultaneously pivoting and protecting TCE’s door-to-door canvassers during the current pandemic by embracing new organizing technologies, Robin has further increased TCE’s focus on reducing global warming and plastics pollution in Texas. Robin and TCE are currently supporting powerful new outreach and organizing in the battle of the Coastal Bend against a major industrial build-out in the Corpus Christi area. Hal Suter was involved in this campaign. TCE is also supporting staff and volunteer efforts in North Texas, Central Texas, the Greater Houston Area, and now the Permian Basin.   

Join us in congratulating Robin Schneider.


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