About the Solar Rights Alliance

We are solar users

We are among the nearly 1 million Californians who have invested in solar energy. We are 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.

The threat to 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 believe

We believe you have the right to make and store your own energy from the sun without interference, discrimination or red tape from the utilities or the government. 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.

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 share information about buying, maintaining or improving your solar system. And we assist you with your questions or problems.

Meet some of our members

Board of Directors and Staff

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).

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.

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. Prior to joining the organization, 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 in that successfully worked to reduce health insurance premiums for consumer and combat government corruption. Dave has been a community organizer for over twenty years and believes people power is the best way to overcome special interests. In addition to spending time with his wife and two children, he enjoys running, backpacking and studying science and philosophy.

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.