An "Above and Beyond Volunteer" advances legislation in Texas | U.S. Green Building Council
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An "Above and Beyond Volunteer" advances legislation in Texas

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State Rep. Mark Strama (left) joins David Matiella (right) following a resolution to have 4/22 recognized as Green Building Day

This month, David Matiella was recognized as one of USGBC's Above and Beyond Volunteers. He joins a dedicated group of volunteer leaders whose contributions have led to outstanding achievements in the green building movement.

David has been a powerhouse-volunteer this year. When the Texas legislature came to Austin for its legislative session (held only every two years), he managed the Advocacy Committees for both his chapter and the state. He lead bi-weekly advocacy calls, facilitated legislative agendas, organized a coalition withother groups and organized an Advocacy Day, after which David followed up with legislators' offices and spearheaded a resolution to have April 22, 2013, recognized as Green Building Day in Texas.

Due to David's perseverance and leadership, the Texas Advocacy Day drew more than 40 volunteers from all Texas chapters for a training session, followed by more than 60 office visits to representatives and senators to advocate for greenbuilding. David emphasized focus, leading the team to select only four initiatives: water conservation in the State Water Plan, water conservation at the homeowner level, green schools, and financing of energy and water conservation upgrades to commercial properties.

The end-of-day reception drew not only all of the advocacy volunteers but legislative staff members and several legislators who accepted awards for their work related to green building in the previous session.

Since the Advocacy Day, David has continued to meet with legislative staff, provide resources and information, attend hearings and register support for various bills. Thanks to David's extraordinary efforts, the 2013 state legislative session was an immense success for the green building community, with several bills making their way out of committee. Working in coalition with groups like Keep Pace in Texas, Southwest Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), Sierra Club and Public Citizen, David has shown that partnerships among like-minded groups can strengthen voices and make a real difference.

It is volunteers like David that strengthen the USGBC community and broader green building movement. Thank you, David Matiella!

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Colin White

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