Celebrating 46 years of protecting clean water, Clean Water Action presents the first annual David Zwick Award to organizing pioneer Barbara Helmick

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Washington, D.C. -- Tonight Clean Water Action celebrates the organization's 46th Anniversary. Founded by David Zwick during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has led the movement to protect clean water for decades. The organization continues to  win campaigns to reduce water pollution and protect drinking water sources by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking, and people power to the table at a local, state, and federal level. In honor of founder David Zwick, who passed away in early 2018, Clean Water established the David Zwick Award to honor those who carry on and exemplify David's commitment to clean water and making democracy work, and his passion for achieving those goals through strength in numbers.  The inaugural award will be presented to Barbara Helmick, a pioneer in the use of field canvassing to win campaigns.

Clean Water Action President and CEO, Bob Wendelgass, released the following statement:

"We're thrilled Barbara Helmick is the first recipient of the David Zwick Award.  It's fitting -- Barbara changed the way that advocates organize communities. She was doing groundbreaking canvassing work in Illinois in the early 1970s. David was exposed to it and embraced the canvass as a foundation of Clean Water Action’s grassroots organizing strategies. We've never looked back. Barbara set up Clean Water Action offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. She has inspired people across the country and hundreds of canvassers have made a career in activism because of Barbara. Barbara and David helped transform the way constituents interact with elected officials and candidates for elected office. This model of organizing has made it possible for advocates to organize the public more broadly, and win, on range of issues -- from clean water to public health to immigration to affordable housing and more. It's a model we're going to continue to lean on as we educate people about the threats facing our water from the current administration and Congress, and motivate them to join us in the campaign to protect clean water and act on climate."


Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration and Congress.



Michael Kelly