Alexandra Dawson had three young children when she graduated from Harvard Law in 1966 and went on to become one of the first paid employees of Boston's Conservation Law Foundation. Following that, she helped launch the environmental program at Antioch University's graduate school and served as president of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions where she co-authored nine editions of the MACC's environmental handbook. Later, she served on her town's conservation commission and wrote for the local paper.
In this interview, conducted in Hadley, MA on July 31, 2010, Alexandra describes the evolution of the local Sierra Club, shares an insider's perspective about the environmental regulatory landscape, savors the recollection of trespassing on WR Grace property with a friend, and marvels at how technology has enabled grass-roots organizing.
Alexandra was articulate, colorful and fun to be with -- unless, perhaps, you were on the wrong side of an issue she cared passionately about. Alexandra passed away at home on December 30, 2011 from complications of emphysema. She was 80.
I interviewed Alexandra for a 2010 film about long-time environmental activists. That film features only a small part of the interview with Alexandra, but it was a most excellent interview so here it is in full.