Tag Archives: save the santa monica mountains

Sue Nelson remembers

Nelson interview.  Contact suggested by Jan Tucker:  Sue Nelson. She knew the Lobby and Faith Keating from having stuff printed at People’s Lobby  for Save the Santa Monica Mountains environmental group..  Interview with Sue Nelson by Dwayne Hunn 10-26-01

Joyce and the  Koupals were important to me…  I worked with Saving Santa Monica Mountains organization.  Didn’t really work with the Koupals.  They printed our literature to Save the Mountains ….  They were such really wonderful people, way ahead of their time…

I was not person who participated in day to day Lobby work. I went and had them do newsletters; we’d sit and talk about politics, of Clean Environment Initiative.  Roger Diamond (lobby attorney) now doing well, living in Palisades, supporting it….  I remember that we held in great disdain Dorothy Green of Common Cause…  Green became anathema of mine… We did great work, and she (Green) was set up as diversion by (Mayor) Bradley.  She was set up to be a diversion….

I had long conversations with Ed about problems that they had..  Lobby’s Bike for Life was way a head of their time.. (Koupals) were working class environmentalists.. I began in 63… Met them at end of 60’s or early 70, don’t remember. Was attracted to their politics as opposed to arrogance of Sierra Club and others.  Nancy Pearlman, for example, was duplicitous….

They  (Koupals) were genuinely grassroots people….

(Supervisor) Baxter Ward was very important character in all this because he brought in first transportation referendum which eventually became blue  line and metro link.. Those things had nothing to do with Sierra Club.  The Lobby was genuinely environmental without phoniness.

He (Ed) was definitely in the tradition , even though I was from Republican family, of like the Townsend people, Upton Sinclair…..

I actually wore a Landon button to school as a kid. My parents were young and my father came here to get work.  Everyone lost their money and family all came here to get work. We were a wonderful Irish family and I got to love my neighbors and I turned out to be very political….  My aunt turned very right wing but they took me up to see FDR and I became aware of different economic movements from my family..

I saw the Friends of Santa Monica victory coming from the grassroots. It (the Lobby) had its own movement; it was outside money, it was really fresh. Joyce and Ed and I were sharing with each other. We – Ed, Joyce and I shared this anger at people who were trying to block us.  These forces were set in motion to stop us..

Not surprised that Faith and (Joyce) she had falling out.  I didn’t think she (Faith) was a very open person. Never was close to her.

As far as I am concerned they (the Koupals) were my mentors in grassroots work… Ed and Joyce epitomized grassroots environmentalist movement . They were my monitors…

Nader has lined himself with right wing environmental groups…

Larry Moss became paid director of Sierra Club..

So many were bought out and didn’t know what they were doing.  Too many became elitists and not grassroots.  Koupals remained grassroots.

What Lobby was doing was really advanced social change.  They were after issues that changes the politics of everything about them….  They were out there changing peoples’ way of doing things.

More about Sue Nelson at: http://articles.latimes.com/2003/may/22/local/me-nelson22