We are elders, including grandparents, great aunts and great uncles who care about the future for all children. As Elders Climate Action members, we are determined to do all we can to leave a sustainable planet for future generations.
The mission of Elders Climate Action is to mobilize elders throughout the United States to address climate change while there is still time to protect the well-being of our grandchildren and future generations. We are dedicated to using the power of our caring, our wisdom and our numbers to push for strong policies that will reduce greenhouse gases in our atmosphere to a level consistent with life thriving on our planet.
ECA is an organization of volunteers who come together in a culture of learning, collaboration, member empowerment, and leadership development. Our community of trust grows stronger every day as members take on commitments and work together to achieve ECA’s goals no matter how difficult they seem at the outset.
❖ ECA encourages and supports leadership development in central committees, members, task forces, chapters and teams
❖ ECA empowers members to be active participants in the fulfillment of our mission
❖ ECA embraces a culture of learning so that skills and experience are shared to further ECA initiatives
❖ ECA embraces a culture of collaboration with organizations which share aspects of our mission
❖ Elders Climate Action is an inclusive organization, encouraging membership by all elders, striving to include elders from all segments of American society, and seeking involvement of members in all aspects of decision-making for the organization.
❖ ECA encourages member driven initiatives.
❖ ECA has adopted the Jemez Principles of Democratic Organization:
Emphasis on Bottom-Up Organizing
Let People Speak for Themselves
Work Together In Solidarity and Mutuality
Build Just Relationships Among Ourselves
Commitment to Self Transformation
Founded in late 2014, from our parent organization Elders Action Network, formerly know as Conscious Elders Network, ECA has grown in a short time reaching over 12,000 elders with a number of active regional chapters and more in formation. We have established collaborative partnerships with over 70 other climate-focused organizations. As an all-volunteer organization, with one part-time Director of Operations, we rely on our members to create the ECA legacy. You too can be part of this legacy!
ECA Director of Operations
M. Jennifer Chandler, known to us as “Jen” was introduced to ECA through her mother, Hazel Chandler (a member of the ECA leadership team and Arizona Chapter leader). After fifteen years teaching in the visual arts and managing the art gallery and visual arts center at Prescott College, a small liberal arts college in the Arizona Central Highlands, Jen was ready for a change. Her mom pointed her toward a small group of elders attempting to start an elder climate movement and said, “help them, this is important“. It didn’t take long to see that Jen’s background in nonprofit management, arts and design, education, and advocacy were a perfect fit with ECA’s growing needs…and she was thrilled by the challenge and idea of supporting intergenerational climate action.
Jen jokes that she’s been an advocate of all things since birth, proudly following her mother’s lead. When it comes to climate change, Jen is a lover of the natural world, who spent much of her youth as an explorer and outdoor guide, experiencing remote and hard to reach places that had deep and lasting impacts. “Many of the places I have loved have been impacted by the devastating effects of climate change. My own hometown has experienced repeat tragedy caused by wildfire and drought, including the loss of 19 firefighters of our local Granite Mountain Hotshot crew in the Yarnell Hill fire, days after saving our town from the Doce Fire. My personal experiences have shown me that TIME IS UP…there’s no more time to wait, we must take action on climate with a deep sense of moral duty & urgency. Nothing is more important.”
Jen has a BA in Adventure Education & Photography and a MA in Arts Administration/Nonprofit Leadership and is a Climate Reality Leader (LA 08).
At the Heart of ECA Are Few Highly Dedicated Volunteers
Meet the volunteer leaders who make Elders Climate Action possible
We are primarily baby boomers. Having come of age in a time of social activism, we know what power citizen voices can have in shaping public policy. We are grandparents and concerned elders who accept our role as guardians of future generations. We recognize that if we do not do something now, our grandchildren and future generations will suffer from our inaction.
Click on the image below to read the bio
Hazel Chandler, Arizona
Margo Frank, California
Geri Freedman, Florida
Grady McGonagill, Massachusetts
Dr. Steve Simon, Indiana
John Sorensen, California
Leslie Wharton, Maryland
A Special Acknowledgement of Our Founder
Paul Severance, (Retired) Founder of Elders Climate Action
Paul Severance spent most of his working life as a community organizer, including urban neighborhood organizing in New York and Indiana. He founded an Indiana senior citizens legislative advocacy organization, United Senior Action of Indiana, and served as its Executive Director for 27 years. He is past Board Chair and current Administrative Director for Sage-ing International.
In retirement, Paul has turned his attention to the existential threat posed by climate change, and the responsibility of elders to speak for the seventh generation. He believes that both because of our long-term perspective and our numbers, American elders have the potential to become a leading force in combating climate change. He founded Elders Climate Action, stepping down from his role at ECA in the fall 2017, and now serves as a Congressional Liaison for Citizens Climate Lobby.