About the Solar Rights Alliance

Who we are

We are a statewide nonprofit association of California solar users. We include homeowners, renters, businesses, nonprofits, schools and others from all parts of California and walks of life. We also welcome solar supporters who don’t have solar yet.

What we believe

We believe you have the right to make energy from the sun on your property without unreasonable interference by the utility. We also believe that your solar energy is a valuable community resource, and you should be credited as such when you share it with the grid.

The problem we are solving: utility attacks on solar

Across California, lobbyists for the utility industry are working to make it harder and more expensive for Californians to choose solar energy. In recent years they tried to kill net metering, hit solar owners with new fees, and grab control of the next generation of solar technology.

“They [utilities] would still dearly like to strangle rooftop solar if they could.” 

— Retired Public Utilities Commissioner Mark Ferron

What we do

We alert you when there is a threat or opportunity to their solar investment, and provide you with simple and clear ways that you can make your voice heard. We provide information about buying, maintaining or improving your solar system. And we assist you with your questions or problems.

We take your privacy seriously and will not sell or share your personal information.

Meet some of our members

Board of Directors and Staff

Marquis Smith

Marquis has over 20 years of experience in Business Technologies Management on advanced technology projects. Following his career with the U. S. Army as a military intelligence officer (Airborne Ranger), he has worked in a number of director and senior management positions.Marquis is currently a client-facing healthcare problem solver who works closely with a consortium of hospital and healthcare organizations sharing innovative ideas on collaborative projects. He is a graduate of the Southwest Texas State University /University California Berkley with a Ph.D & MS in Human Performance Technology and has a BS in Political Science and Criminal Law from Alabama A&M. His certifications include Portfolio Management from Kellogg University, a PMI certification, ITIL and COBIT certifications, and Leading and Managing High Performance Teams. He still holds an active US Security Clearance.

Lee Miller

Lee grew up in the San Fernando Valley and has been an environmentalist since the mid-1960’s. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Information Systems Management.

Lee has lived in the Sacramento area since 1980. She was involved in protests and letter-writing campaigns to the SMUD board to pressure SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) to shut down their nuclear power plant in 1989. 

Lee retired from the Intel Corporation in Folsom in 2015. She worked as a data analyst and database administrator for 15 years. 

Lee lives with her husband Craig and two dogs Zak and Asha. She enjoys travel, attending concerts, teaching Zentangle, and creating fused glass and gourd art.  

Fatima Malik

Fatima T. Malik is a public health professional dedicated to advancing equity and justice in disadvantaged communities.

Her passion includes long-term neighborhood planning efforts to increase the social, economic, and environmental well-being of vulnerable populations. As the Del Paso Heights Growers’ Alliance lead organizer she created poverty intervention strategies.

Fatima is an assistant planner at the City of Sacramento. She is a member of the 2021 inaugural leadership cohort, Partners Advancing Climate Equity. Her civic involvement includes serving on WALKSacramento’s board and volunteering with Green Tech Edu. She earned a Master of Public Health at SJSU and International Agricultural Development at UC Davis. 

David Rusch

David Rusch is a resident of Culver City, CA, where he and his wife raised their three children and where he is currently enjoying his retirement from a career in elementary school education. They purchased their rooftop solar system in 1985 out of a commitment to do their part for the future of the planet.  David also serves as the public member for the North American Board for the Certification of Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

Robert Mills

Robert is a UC Berkeley grad, went to law school in San Francisco, and afterwards pursued careers as an entrepreneur in real estate development, securities, and law.  The Mills Law Firm pursued consumer class actions nationwide from 1989 until Mills’ retirement in 2014.  As a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight West, Robert currently flies low income patients from rural areas to metropolitan medical centers.  He is a member of the Management Board of the San Francisco City Guides, leads history tours, and is an avid mountain climber.  Robert’s car and home are powered by the sun.  

Tom Fendley

Tom is a long-time social change leader and businessperson, having served as a strategist, organizer, and consultant for a variety of clean energy organizations. He possesses a strong political background from his experiences as a political director and coordinator and has successfully managed campaigns at the state and local levels. Currently, Tom is a realtor in Sonoma County, specializing in solar homes.

Dave Rosenfeld

Dave is the Executive Director of the Solar Rights Alliance. Dave has been a community organizer for over twenty years and believes people power is the best way to overcome special interests. Prior to joining Solar Rights Alliance, Dave led a successful statewide ballot measure campaign in Oregon to restore Career Technical Education for high schoolers. Before that, he led a 40,000 member public interest organization that successfully worked to reduce health insurance premiums for consumers and combat government corruption. In addition to spending quality time with his family and friends, he enjoys running, swimming, yoga, backpacking, and reading.

Cailey Underhill

 Cailey Underhill is the Advocacy and Development Director of the Solar Rights Alliance. Cailey taught high school English for six years after obtaining a Master of Science degree in English Education. The pandemic served as a catalyst for her decision to engage more directly in protecting the environmental future her students deserve. In pursuit of that goal, Cailey was admitted into the Green Corps Fellowship Program, where she spent a year traveling across the country learning how to become a field organizer. Her first campaign was with the Solar Rights Alliance, working to stop the solar tax. Cailey helped organize rallies, petition drives and phone-in campaigns that involved more than 1,000 people and got coverage in the LA Times, NPR, and more. Cailey is also an avid horseback rider, rock climber, writer, and reader who enjoys a good adventure.

Sign up!

It’s free and will help your voice be heard. We take your privacy very seriously and will never share or sell your personal information with anyone.