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Money Problems Force Cutbacks on Statewide Clean Air Coalition

May 09, 1987

LOS ANGELES — The Coalition for Clean Air, the only statewide environmental organization specializing solely in air pollution issues, has dismissed its executive director and plans to close its Santa Monica headquarters because of financial problems.

Ralph Perry, coalition president, said this week that the 900-member group cannot pay its rent or its staff and lost an estimated $5,000 on a Hollywood celebrity fund-raising event last month.

He said the coalition will "stay as active as we can" and noted that when the coalition was organized in 1970 it was an all-volunteer organization.

The dismissals of executive director Kelly Hayes-Raitt and an office manager were the latest in a series of cutbacks and come at a time when political battles over clean air issues are heating up both in the state and in Congress.

Hayes-Raitt said the retrenchment is bound to have an impact on the group's effectiveness as a government watchdog and as a resource to the public and other environmental groups.

Hayes-Raitt said the coalition's finances have been precarious since she was hired last year. She said the coalition had virtually no money in the bank and was counting heavily on the success of last month's Hollywood celebrity fund-raiser. Perry said the outside consultant hired to coordinate the event has not been paid and may sue the coalition.

"We took somewhat of a gamble on throwing a big soiree to try to raise a bunch of money and we spent a bunch of money on it and it wasn't successful," Perry said.

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