TURN to Honor 2018 Consumer Champions and Founder Sylvia Siegel



Wednesday, May 16, San Francisco—The Utility Reform Network will honor leaders in the fight for affordable utility services and TURN’s founder Sylvia Siegel at an anniversary gala on May 17 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom.

“Sylvia launched TURN’s David vs. Goliath battle against the big utilities from her kitchen table,” said TURN executive director Mark Toney.  “Our Grassroots Champions are continuing her tradition of on the ground organizing statewide, and have been key partners in our campaign to end shutoffs.  They represent diverse communities throughout the state where the impact of high rates is especially severe.”

Grassroots Champion honorees are: Centro La Familia(Fresno)
City Heights Community Development Corporation(San Diego)
Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement(Inland Empire)
Fathers and Families of San Joaquin
Housing Long Beach
Leadership Institute of Allen Temple(Oakland)
Poverello House(Fresno)

Also honored will be individuals who, like Sylvia Siegel, have made key contributions to advancing TURN’s goals of affordable, reliable essential services for every community in California.

The 2018 Sylvia Siegel Champions are:
Chet Hewitt, CEO, Sierra Health Foundation
Catherine Sandoval, Associate Professor of Law, Santa Clara University
Tom Runnion, VP, CWA District 9
Tram Nguyen, Local Policy Coordinator, Alameda County Public Health Department
Dan Mogin, Managing Partner, Mogin Rubin, LLP

The even with be emceed by Aimee Allison , President of Democracy in Color, and awards will be presented by Asssemblymember Phil Ting(D-San Francisco) and Sandra Witt of the California Endowment.

Siegel was born 100 years ago, and started TURN 45 years ago, having an immediate impact as well as a long term one.  Her son, Richard Siegel, said “utility companies grossly underestimated” her, as she quickly showed an ability to stand up to them and win.

According to former TURN executive director Nettie Hoge “Sylvia set an example that opened up new possibilities for women when she strode into meetings of the boy’s club.  In those days we weren’t supposed to be behind utility and government closed doors, but Sylvia walked right in and took the rest of us with her.”