LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Cadiz Inc. (Nasdaq: CDZI/CDZIP) (“Cadiz” or the “Company”), is pleased to announce that the Company’s Board of Directors has formed a new Equity, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice Committee (“ESEJ Committee”), effective immediately. The ESEJ Committee will focus on elevating the Company’s mission dedicated to delivering water supply, storage, and conveyance opportunities equitably, especially to underserved communities, and ensuring Cadiz’s projects, programs, and policies are sustainable and support communities that lack equitable access to water and the many quality-of-life benefits reliable water provides.
The ESEJ Committee will be chaired by Board Member Carolyn Webb de Macias, and include two additional non-executive board members, Maria Echaveste and Winston Hickox. The Committee will oversee the Company’s development, implementation, and maintenance of policies, programs, and practices with respect to sustainability, environmental protection, environmental justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and community engagement.
Director Webb de Macías is a community leader from Los Angeles County with an extensive career in public policy, higher education, and community engagement. Director Webb de Macías currently serves as Board Chair for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a non-profit organization that manages 19 schools through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Los Angeles Unified School District, and as a Member of the Board of the Community Coalition of South Los Angeles, a community education and advocacy organization. Previously, Director Webb de Macías served in the office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the US Department of Education as an appointee of President Barack Obama from 2010-2012. Director Webb de Macías has been honored for her work in the community and was named a Black Woman of Achievement by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Director Webb de Macías commented on her appointment as Chair of the Cadiz ESEJ Committee: “In 2014, California recognized water as a human right, yet communities across the Los Angeles area – one of the wealthiest metropolitan areas in the world – still lack access to clean, reliable water when they turn on the tap. I am proud to chair the Cadiz ESEJ committee, which has made a commitment to drive sustainable solutions to this challenge.”
Director Maria Echaveste, a committee member, is a scholar with a distinguished career working as a community leader, public policy advisor, lecturer, senior White House official, and attorney. She is presently President and CEO of the Opportunity Institute, a California-based non-profit working to increase economic and social mobility focused on equity for the most vulnerable communities. She also serves on the board of directors of the Level Playing Field Institute, Mi Familia Vota, and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Director Echaveste has held various roles at University of California at Berkeley, including as policy director of the Law School’s Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy. Previously, Director Echaveste served as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton focused on issues relating to immigration, civil rights, education, finance, Mexico and Latin America, and as a special representative to Bolivia for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Director Echaveste also served as vice-chair of the California International Trade and Investment Advisory Committee, an appointment made by former Governor Jerry Brown.
Director Echaveste added about the new ESEJ Committee: “Equity of opportunity is reliant on equity of access to the basic needs of society, including clean water, safe infrastructure, and adequate housing. Immigrant communities suffer disproportionately from shortage of these basic resources when drought or a systemic crisis occurs. I am pleased to be a member of Cadiz’s efforts to be part of the solution to the State’s resource challenges.”
Director Hickox, the Company’s lead independent director and ESEJ Committee member, has led a distinguished career focused on environmental sustainability and protection in the resource development industries, including service as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) from 1999-2003 and as an appointee to the California Coastal Commission from 1997-1999. While CalEPA Secretary Mr. Hickox worked with California’s Treasurer in the development of a “Greenwave” investment strategy for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), which represented a precursor to Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) investment strategies. Then, Director Hickox served as Senior Portfolio Manager with CalPers and focused the pension fund’s assets on efforts that would accelerate the development of new technologies needed to address climate change, improve the energy efficiency of real estate investments, and support companies aggressive in their efforts to address climate change and other environmental impacts. Director Hickox also chaired the FTSE Environmental Markets Committee, served on the Board of the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS), and Chaired the Market Advisory Committee, which helped prepare for the implementation of AB 32- California’s sweeping effort to address climate change.
Director Hickox commented: “To address the climate crisis and ensure sustainable access to critical resources in all communities, the private and public sectors must work hand-in-hand to offer a variety of opportunities that support change. I am delighted to be a part of Cadiz’s dedication to deliver solutions sustainably, innovatively, and as good stewards of the local environment.”
Susan Kennedy, Executive Chair of the Board, added: “Cadiz is on a mission to ensure all Californians have access to critical water resources, and I am grateful to Carolyn, Maria and Winston – leaders in their fields – for taking on this significant Board role of guiding the Company through the important effort of identifying all actions that Cadiz can take to ensure it is living up to the highest ideals of equity, justice, and sustainability.”
More information about the Cadiz Board and the ES&EJ Committee Charter, can be found at www.cadizinc.com/governance .
For full Bios for the ESEJ Committee members, please visit https://www.cadizinc.com/board-of-directors/.