April 8, 2020
To Whom it May Concern:
I’m writing to express support for Ed Fallon in relation to allegations about sexual violence and harassment. When I heard about these accusations, I was sad because I love Sierra Club and was active with Washington, DC Sierra Club chapter for years, and Iowa City chapter when I moved to Iowa in 1999. In addition to my deep respect for Sierra Club, I am also a champion of womens’ rights. So to hear that Ed Fallon was accused of sexual violence by an organization I value and respect is very disconcerting.
Nonetheless, I have known Ed Fallon since 1999, and disagree down to the bottom of my socks that he would engage in sexual violence. Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked with Ed in a variety of capacities: as a Board Member of 1000 Friends of Iowa, as a campaigner for his many political campaigns, as an environmental activist, as a teacher, and as a friend. I consider Ed Fallon to be a philosophical, social, political and community mentor to me.
Ed’s philosophies around pacifism inspire me. He has read, traveled and practiced a non-violent lifestyle in a way that is extraordinary in our culture. He walks and bikes everywhere, grows his own food, and maintains a minimal footprint on our planet. He speaks French and Spanish – not perfectly, but quite well – and loves to connect with people around the world. He loves music and backyard chickens. And he is a tireless and strategic community organizer and marcher. And he lives a very modest lifestyle with minimal possessions and massive detachment from accumulation. Ed’s life and soul are centered in creating justice and compassion for the earth and its most vulnerable inhabitants. I admire his consistency and commitment to these principals.
When I read about sexual violence allegations, I’m just altogether confused. It’s just so inconsistent with my experience of Ed Fallon over the past 20 years. Ed is a PeaceMaker, not a peace breaker. I’ve never observed any indication of misogynistic tendencies from Ed. While I have observed and experienced Misogynistic behaviors from men across the nation and around the world, Ed Fallon is not among them. Not at all. I have seen Ed on many occasions express vulnerability and precious honesty. He is a champion of the poor, the workers, minorities, Native Americans, and the marginalized. Ed Fallon is not a predator.
I will submit that Ed Fallon can be goofy, silly and playful, and even self-full, but these qualities are never expressed with a ‘power-over’ disposition that could be threatening or awkward. Ed loves to laugh, prank, joke and have fun. Maybe it’s his Irish nature. And Ed is unconventional and unorthodox in his behaviors and life-style. He lives from the inside out, not outside in. He’s not afraid of alienating himself to keep consistent with his value system.
I”m really not sure what happened for Ed to be the subject of these painful allegations…but feel compelled to share that my experience of Ed Fallon over the course of two decades is entirely incongruent with someone who would engage in sexual harassment and violence.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak in Ed Fallon’s defense here.