My name is Lenny Siegel.

Pacific Studies Center ( )
Tue, 14 Oct 1997 15:56:47 -0700 (PDT)

From: Lenny Siegel <>


My name is Lenny Siegel, and as the Director of CAREER/PRO, I'm the
initiator of this newsgroup. I've been impressed by the number of
responses to Tony's request for introductions. I think it's time to
introduce myself, as well as our organization. Since I expect to post
frequently to the group, and because even my wife and kids don't really
understand what I do for a living, this may run a little long.

I have been a left-wing tree-hugging activist since I was a teen-ager in
the 1960s. I was a leader of the student movement at Stanford U. during
the late 60s and early 70s. Since 1970, I have been Director of the
Pacific Studies Center (PSC), a small research group and library in what
is now known universally as Silicon Valley. As such, I became an expert
of the social, economic, labor, and military implications of

Starting in the late 1970s, I included in my portfolio research and
organizing on toxics in the local and global electronics industry. In
the late 80s, when Moffett Field, a Naval Air Station near my home in
Mountain View, began its Superfund negotiations, I started working on
military toxics issues. I participated in the Technical Review Committee
that oversaw local cleanup activity, and its success became a national
model for public participation. I also wrote a national report for the
National Toxics Campaign Fund and helped organize what is now the
Military Toxics Project.

I was appointed to an EPA-led advisory committee known as the Federal
Facilities Environmental Restoration Dialogue Committee, and through
that body I and others promoted the notion that early, often public
participation in the oversight of cleanup not only makes the community
happier but usually makes cleanup easier for polluters (and other
responsible parties) and regulators. Pushed along by the need to clean
the growing number of closing military bases - such as Moffett and most
other Bay Area installations - the federal government established more
than 250 advisory groups, called Restoration Advisory Boards by the
Department of Defense.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Urban Institute, the community-oriented arm
of San Francisco State University - part of the California State
University System - formed CAREER/PRO, the California Economic Recovery
and Environmental Restoration Project, to support the cleanup and
conversion of closing military bases in the Bay Area. CAREER/PRO hired
me first as a consultant, then as Director. Through CAREER/PRO I
continue much of the work I was already doing at PSC. I keep my files at
PSC, and I normally work at home and at PSC's Mountain View office to
avoid the daily commute to downtown San Francisco, where CAREER/PRO is
based. Today I am director of both organizations, but CAREER/PRO is my

One of CAREER/PRO's original goals - as reflected in its name - was to
train inner city youth to do cleanup, and we lead a Minority Worker
Training Program partnership with the Laborers-AGC Education and
Training Fund and four community-based organizations in San Francisco.
Since I have been Director, however, most of our work has focused on the
promotion of public involvement in the oversight of cleanup and other
military environmental activities.

Our activities include a newsgroup on military environmental issues, the
almost monthly Citizens Report on the Military and the Environment,
training workshops, direct support for community groups, and
participation in state, regional, and national advisory committees. One
of those advisory committees is the National Environmental Justice
Advisory Council Subcommittee on Waste and Facility Siting. (My term
just expired.) When our subcommittee learned about EPA's Brownfields
Initiative, we aggressively intervened to promote public participation
and other environmental justice goals.

Since Brownfields are the civilian version of base closures, I have been
heavily involved in this activity. We have argued to EPA and others that
Brownfields programs must learn both the positive and negative lessons
of base closures, and we are doing the same. In cooperation with other
organizations, we are adapting the tools we have used to promote
organizing around military environmental issues - such as our successful
Internet newsgroup - to the national Brownfields effort.


Lenny Siegel Director, SFSU CAREER/PRO (and Pacific Studies Center) c/o PSC, 222B View St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545Fax: 650/968-1126

Effective August 2, 1997, "415" area code numbers for the area south of San Francisco, including Mountain View, have changed to "650." However,"415" may be used until February 1, 1998.