The Sierra Club, an environmental organization with 3,600 members in city, has endorsed D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary for mayor.
"Our decision was not a difficult one," said Gwyn Jones, chair of Sierra Club, D.C. chapter. "During [Gray's] time on the council, he has always been a friend of the Sierra Club and the city's environmental movement. Our records show that he has been a 100 percent green voter for his entire tenure."
Despite incumbent Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's efforts to build new bike lanes and promote mass transit, Jones said more than two-thirds of the club's political and executive committee opted for Gray.
Jones said members have been disappointed in many of Fenty's decisions, including his efforts this year to divert the proceeds of the 5-cent bag tax to the general fund, even though the money was supposed to go the Anacostia River Clean-up Fund. The council blocked Fenty's proposal.
"Basically, whenever he's had financial difficulty, he always looked to the environmental stuff first," said Jones, adding Fenty also diverted money from the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund and the Tree Fund. "It's a matter of people's trust. When you say you are going to use these funds for X, people have to trust you are going to do that."
Gray, Jones said, "has been there on basically every issue."
"Vincent Gray has always been willing to listen to us," she said. "He is someone open to listening to both sides and all sides, and at least everyone has a seat at the table."
Gray also announced Friday an endorsement from Veterans and Military Families for Progress, which advocates for current and former members of the armed forces.