Debbie Hecht

I have spent my life since 1998 on building community, through land conservation and serving via the Sierra Club in San Diego, creating the 2% Land Fund in Hawaii, and creating Peaks and Ridges legislation in Tucson.

I believe I became an activist through my life as a UU since the age of 8. My upbringing in the UU church has taught me to “walk the talk”. It’s just in the last 10 years that I wish my dad was still alive to thank him for choosing the Unitarian Universalists community for our worship. I am grateful to not have to overcome the Jewish guilt of my cousins or the Catholic guilt of my friends.

When I first came to San Diego, I was searching for friends and was intrigued by the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas. I went for a while, but something was missing, and that was community. I remember when I first came to UUFSD, and Linda Gianelli Pratt and I were co-chairs of the Environmental Justice Task Force. We got a lot done that we were both proud of: classes on socially responsible investing, changing banks from Wells Fargo, leading the effort to get rooftop solar electricity for the fellowship and reducing kitchen waste to almost zero through new policies and remodeling the kitchen with good washing facilities. During the process to reduce kitchen waste, I had unknowingly offended the prior kitchen maven, who decided to loudly inform me during Sunday coffee hour in the core area. I am always so amazed when people start screaming, I was speechless! Linda and Christy Turner came up to me and leaned into me, giving me physical support. I was so comforted! Now that’s community- unasked for support! We all need the support of community, and I cherish the community at this congregation. Thank you for the warmth of friendship and community!

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