We've been working on something big!
Learn more about some exciting changes coming to ACE.
Imagine ACE, only better.
The same group you know and love. The issues you care about. Grassroots organizing, environmental education, and a uniquely Alaskan approach to conservation in the Great Land.
But with greater success on the issues we care about: More programs. Bigger campaigns. Statewide reach.
Sound good? We think so too.
I’m writing today to let you know that we’ve been working hard to make this goal a reality, and today we are moving forward with a plan to do just that.
For over a year ACE staff and board have been in negotiations to join forces with three other groups to maximize our impact on the issues you care about. Today, that goal begins to become a reality- and we want you to be among the first to know all about it.
Alaska Center for the Environment (ACE), Alaska Conservation Alliance (ACA), and Alaska Youth for Environmental Action (AYEA) will merge into one organization. All of these areas of strength, under one roof, working in close coordination towards the same goals, can only make us better at influencing the issues you care about. The new organization will then affiliate with Alaska Conservation Voters (ACV), a 501c4 lobbying organization.
Why? Simply put, to be more effective. ACE’s grassroots muscle, combined with ACA’s statewide coalition leadership, AYEA’s youth organizing and leadership development, and a strategic partnership with ACV to perform effective lobbying on conservation issues will create a more complete and powerful advocacy organization.
We can also reduce overhead, putting those resources back into the things that impact policy- staff capacity, communications budgets, and cutting edge tools that focus our work and amplify our impact.
This new organization is being designed with maximum impact in mind under the following organizing principles:
- An unwavering commitment to grassroots organizing.
We will continue to be a people-powered force for the environment.
- Environmental education.
Trailside Discovery Camp and Alaska Youth for Environmental Action are among the strongest education programs in the state, and will continue to be so as programs of this new organization.
- Leadership development.
At the end of the day, the difference between success and failure comes down to the quality of the leaders and the talent of the organizers. This new organization is incorporating youth development, investment in staff training, and a tiered leadership structure in order to develop and strengthen our staff and activists.
- Statewide collaboration.
ACE currently does its best to coordinate with other groups now, but we are not full leveraging the capacity of the groups in Alaska to focus jointly on key issues. This plan creates a more detailed, more concrete system for truly strategic campaign prioritization and joint implementation.
- A lobbying arm.
To the extent allowed by law, the affiliation with a 501c4 organization allows us to have a direct lobbying impact in Juneau, and to hold decision-makers accountable to the environment.
These are just the highlights. There's plenty more to be excited about. There are also some challenging logistical and legal hurdles that take time to work through. Believe me, this is not a simple task! But the merger is critical to our success and critical to the Alaska conservation movement, and that's why we've undertaken this challenge.
The boards voted to move forward with this plan last week, and yesterday, ACA member groups from around the state added their support. Now, we move forward with the execution of the merger- filing paperwork with the State and bringing the groups together in a legal and administrative sense. We expect this step to be completed in mid-November.
Of course, the real work is bringing this vision to reality in terms of programs, campaigns, and increased impact. And that effort is absolutely critical to our success for Alaska’s environment.
These next few months will be make-or-break to this effort- our ability to fund this new strategy and implement the vision we’ve worked so hard to create will determine whether we succeed in taking ACE and our mission to the next level.
As an ACE member, you can play an important role in supporting this success. I hope you will consider making a special gift of financial support right now to help get this project off to a strong start. You can donate here. If we all work together, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.
Thank you once again for your steadfast support. There are challenges ahead, but I couldn’t feel more optimistic about the strategy and plan we have in place to meet those challenges.
I look forward to building a more effective future with you!
Interim Executive Director