Thursday, April 28 , 2016, 6:12 pm | Fair 67º

Richard Francis Joins Environmental Defense Center Board of Directors

By Betsy Weber for the Environmental Defense Center |

The Environmental Defense Center has announced that Ventura attorney Richard Francis has joined its Board of Directors.

Francis, a former mayor and councilman for the City of Ventura, was also one of the founders and original authors of Ventura County’s SOAR Initiatives. He has held a private practice in Ventura/Oxnard for almost 35 years and was previously on the EDC board from 1997 to 1999.

“Richard is a great addition to the Environmental Defense Center’s board,” said Peter Schuyler, president of the board of EDC. “He knows the issues, understands what is at stake for our region’s environment and is well-respected throughout the Ventura County community. EDC is very excited to have his expertise and passion to help guide our work in Ventura County.”

The Environmental Defense Center maintains offices in Ventura and Santa Barbara and remains the only public interest, environmental law firm between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Since 2009, the EDC has maintained a staffed office in Ventura from which it represents charitable organizations on environmental issues ranging from fracking to water quality to endangered species and stopping irresponsible development. In recent years, EDC has successfully fought development at the Ormond Beach Wetlands and worked to ensure clean water near coastal oil facilities.

“I am excited to be stepping back onto the Environmental Defense Center’s board,” Francis said. “This organization has already made a lasting impact on Ventura County through their many years of work partnering with and representing nonprofit organizations. Their top-notch work as a law firm is a critical part of this success and I am looking forward to supporting these efforts. The Environmental Defense Center’s advocacy and education work also closely mirror my life’s work and there are few organizations that wear all these hats so well.”

Brian Segee, EDC’s Ventura-based senior attorney, said, “The Environmental Defense Center is deeply committed to Ventura County, and Richard adds another powerful voice to our team to help us meet the needs of this vital community.”

Francis joins fellow Ventura resident and Patagonia Environmental Campaign manager Hans Cole on the EDC board. The Environmental Defense Center’s full time staff of 10 includes four lawyers and two environmental analysts. The EDC is completely funded through private donations and receives no government assistance.

— Betsy Weber represents the Environmental Defense Center.

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