- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Aaron Mair, a civil rights and environmental justice advocate in Albany, has been elected president of the Sierra Club, becoming the first African-American to serve in that role.

The Guilderland resident began his activism 31 years ago when he organized the residents of Albany’s low-income Arbor Hill neighborhood against a toxic waste incinerator that was causing respiratory illnesses in the community. He said one of his goals as president of the Sierra Club is to promote “diversity, equity and inclusion” within the organization.

Mair is a research specialist at the state Department of Health and former chairman of the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club.

The non-profit Sierra Club, based in San Francisco, is governed by a volunteer 15-member board of directors that elects a president annually from among its members.

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