Welcome to our new Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund Texas State Director, Becky Smith! Becky is taking the helm in the Lone Star State after our long time Texas State Director David Foster transitioned into his well-earned retirement at the end of 2021 after 26 years serving the people and natural environment of Texas.
Becky brings a significant amount of experience in grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, and fundraising. While new to the role of Texas State Director, she is no stranger to Texas Clean Water. Becky began her career in environmental advocacy and action in 2001 as a Field Organizer in the Houston Clean Water office. As a Program Assistant she learned the ropes of grassroots lobbying in Austin and D.C. and gained electoral campaign experience while helping win funding for the first segment of the Houston light rail system. She left Texas to help start a Clean Water office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota before making her way to our Boston, Massachusetts office for a twelve year stretch.
In her role as Massachusetts Campaigns Director, Becky worked on projects including municipal lead service line removal from residential drinking water systems; Clean Water Act citizen enforcement cases; cleanup, closure, and just transitions of coal burning power plants to cleaner energy sources and jobs; and served on advisory groups to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and as a Governor’s Appointee to multiple terms on the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission. In 2014, Becky completed a Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Becky returned to Texas in 2018 and has spent several years working with environmental organizations in the Houston area. In her own words:
“Returning to Texas feels great. As a Mississippi-born Southerner, the warmer weather and people suit me to a ‘T’ and – as in each of the places I’ve lived and visited – there are both passionate, caring people and plenty of work to be done.
"I look forward to growing our Texas membership, adding staff capacity in Austin, Houston and Dallas as we grow. We’re already focused on electing pro-environment candidates in the elections this year. We are also working to help shape up our Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) during their current Sunset Review; fighting to to block dumping of treated sewage into streams and headwaters across the state; and working to bring clean, renewable energy production back into focus for the Pedernales Electric Co-op.
"Other projects of interest include increasing equity in flood mitigation and prevention for Southeast Texas’ most vulnerable community members whose homes and businesses have suffered historic disinvestment, as well as protecting democracy and Texans’ access to the ballot."
While not in her home office in Houston, Becky enjoys exploring with her family in the outdoors and snuggling up with kitties Queso and Luna.
All of us at Clean Water are excited to be welcoming Becky back to our Texas office and are looking forward to what comes next! As David Foster says, "I am honored to have served our Texas members for so long. We are fortunate to have someone as experienced and committed as Becky to carry on the effort.".
Learn more about taking action to protect human health, our natural environment, and our democracy at cleanwater.org/TX, support our work in Texas at cleanwater.org/make-special-gift-protect-clean-water-texas, and if you're in the Houston area join Becky and David for a Meet and Greet on June 7th!