HARTFORD – The CT League of Conservation Voters is starting the new year with the addition of two members to its Board of Directors and three members to the League’s Education Fund Board of Directors.
The selection of new Board members Danielle Chesebrough and Laura Del Savio reflects the League’s recent focus on election reform measures such as absentee and early voting, and support for the Connecticut Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights Act includes legal methods to fight discriminatory voting rules and expands language assistance for voters with limited proficiency in English.
Chesebrough, serving her second term as First Selectman in Stonington, was asked to join the board based on her advocacy for policies prioritizing environmental conservation and Connecticut's natural resource protection.
“Danielle’s leadership, combined with her passion for environmental causes, expertise, and advocacy experience, will contribute to driving the organization's mission of safeguarding the state's environment and promoting democratic reforms that enhance civic engagement,” according to League Managing Director Mike Urgo.
Chesebrough campaigned for office as an unaffiliated candidate. She is a member of the Forward Party, which Del Savio helped to launch, and seeks advocates for election reform policies. Prior to serving as First Selectman, Chesebrough worked with the United Nations for over eight years helping companies and financial markets operate more transparently and sustainably.
Del Savio helped launch CT Voters First as Communications Director to advance Ranked Choice Voting and to advocate for the allocation of funds to modernize Connecticut's elections infrastructure. In 2021, Del Savio was instrumental in starting Connecticut’s Forward Party, founded on the national level by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang and steered by a multi-partisan leadership team. The new party was established to advance a new kind of politics by depolarizing issues through common-sense solutions. The Forward Party was built on a platform of innovative election practices including nonpartisan primaries and alternative voting methods.
Del Savio served as Senior Communications Strategist through a historic merger of the Forward Party with the Serve America Movement, the Renew America Movement and through a critical alliance with Common Cause CA. Outside of the Forward Party, Del Savio has focused her political efforts on candidates who seek to bridge the partisan divide and sees environmental issues as an important space for collaboration and nonpartisan innovation. She is also an educator and taught in public schools in Westchester County, New York, and in Fairfield County. She hopes to help CTLCV advance its efforts by increasing awareness of how our state’s residents can win on critical environmental issues through improved elections and accountability.
All three new members of the League’s Education Fund Board, Pippa Bell Ader, Isaac Cohen and Yaw Darko, have deep experience as advocates for pro-environment policies.
Bell Ader has played a significant role in the region's sustainability initiatives, working with the Bridgeport Green Village Initiative and Sustainable Westport. Her leadership resulted in Westport winning the US Department of Energy Neighbor-to-Neighbor Home Energy Challenge and achieving Sustainable CT certification. As co-chair of Westport’s League of Women Voters she emphasized the importance of sustainability.
Bell Ader’s work with the Parents Concussion Coalition to update youth concussion management laws in Connecticut will be an asset to the League’s advocacy efforts before the General Assembly. She is an occupational therapist with 21 years of experience in New York City and Boston, and has degrees from Columbia University and Tufts University.
Cohen, the founder and owner of Bedrock Wealth Strategies, will bring a wealth of experience in financial planning to the organization with a focus on environmental stewardship. Cohen’s unwavering dedication to environmental causes has led him to highlight for his clients the intrinsic link between responsible financial planning and environmental sustainability. His visionary approach includes investment opportunities aligning with eco-conscious values, making him a valuable advocate for sustainable finance.
Darko was the Sandy Breslin Conservation Fellow at the CT Land Conservation Council in 2020, progressing to Senior Project Specialist. Responsible for administering funding programs and coordinating initiatives like Bird & Hike with CT Land Trusts, Darko demonstrates a commitment to equity and justice in environmental matters as the Chair of the Land Subcommittee on the CT Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council. With a background in psychology and a Master's in Public Administration, his diverse experience in farming, personal training, tutoring, counseling, and facilities maintenance makes Yaw a valuable member of the board, combining expertise and passion for conservation.
The League adds new Board members at the start of each year as the terms of others expire. Roger Reynolds, Senior Legal Director at Save the Sound, had served on the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Board since 2014. Amy Merli, Sustainability Coordinator at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, served on the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Education Fund Board since 2015.
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