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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Freeman Allen honored by the League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters of the Claremont Area recently presented the Ruth Ordway Award to Freeman Allen of Sustainable Claremont. The Ruth Ordway Award is presented annually to a local resident who has contributed outstanding service to the community. 

Beginning in 1954, Mr. Allen spent 40 years teaching in the chemistry department at Pomona?College, doing research and pursuing his passion for a sustainable future. When he first arrived in Claremont, he observed the hazy, discolored condition of the air. Air pollution became a central concern for him. He became a member and later chair of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Advisory Board where he was involved in air testing and drafting regulations to reduce pollution.

He served on air quality committees and task forces for the California Air Resources Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The area continues to benefit from his work. He became a member of the local League of Women Voters and their Southern California Environmental Action Committee (EnAct). 

After his retirement in 1994, he added water as a primary interest. He joined in leading the local LWV Water Task Force that produced the report, Water Issues in the City of Claremont, 2005, and continues to advocate for a publicly-owned water company for the city.

In his many active post-retirement years, he has worked continually for resource conservation and changing human behavior to sustain life on earth. As Sustainability Director on the Local League Board, he authored a chapter on air quality in the 2007 League publication, A Sustainability Guide for Claremont Residents. He was on the task force that developed the City of Claremont’s Sustainability Plan and he became one of the founders of the local nonprofit organization, Sustainable Claremont. He served as co-president and continues still as an active board member.

One of his many contributions to the community—and the region—was developing the monthly Sustainability Dialogues in cooperation with Pomona College. The 60th dialog just took place, translating into a five-year record of dedication, persistence and resourcefulness.  Mr. Allen is also a co-founder of the Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP), which started as a Sustainable Claremont Action Group and promotes reduction of fossil fuel energy use in local homes.

He worked to help Claremont take second place in the Cool California Competition, which rewarded cities for their citizens’ reduction in energy use.  Mr. Allen is currently involved in the Georgetown Energy Competition (locally the Claremont Energy Challenge) which offers cities a reward for reducing energy use throughout the community.

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