Volume 8, Issue 5

The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) entered May reinvigorated after a powerful convening of climate justice activists in Washington DC for the  March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice. We have continued to advocate for low-income communities and communities of color in New York City-- including advocating for increased solar energy projects and against wasteful styrofoam. 

Unfortunately, Trump is poised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This is bad news for international cooperation on climate change, and we need states to act now more than ever. Read on to see how you can get involved in helping pass the most progressive climate action bill in the US by joining us in Albany on June 6th.

The Climate and Community Protection Act could be re-introduced as soon as next week, and the NY Renews Coalition has 15 seats left on our bus for our June 6th lobby day in Albany. Come make sure your representatives vote in favor!

We'll have signs, banners, and speakers from across the state. We'll even have a giant block of ice carved into the shape of New York. As it melts outside the Capitol, our message will be simple: time is running out to save New York from the worst impacts of climate change. What will the Governor and the Senate do in the waning days of the legislative session as Trump threatens to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement?

NYC-EJA and UPROSE gathering on the National Lawn in Washington D.C. following the mobilization on 4/29/17
On the 100th day of Trump's presidency more than 300,000 people in Washington DC and across the country joined together in a powerful demonstration of unity for jobs, justice, and climate action.  NYC-EJA members sent down six buses to show the current administration that we will not rest until we transform our unjust, polluting and extractive system to a fair, renewable, and regenerative economy! 
Watch the PCM Video!
NYC-EJA staff celebrating at our 25th Anniversary Gala on 4/6/17
On April 6th, NYC-EJA friends, family and allies came together and celebrated a quarter century of fighting for environmental justice. Check out our videos from the event, including speeches from our Magnificent Seven honorees!
A pile of styrofoam containers via flickr.
The City Council is deliberating a bill called Intro 1480, which proposes that expanded polystyrene foam, also known as styrofoam, be designated as recyclable material.  While we support strong policies that lead to waste diversion, we reject false solutions that preclude meaningful reductions in plastic pollution. It is not practical to recycle styrofoam: unlike recyclables like cardboard, there is no market for dirty foam food and beverage containers. 

Rather than impede progress on the City's Zero Waste goals, the Council should focus on legislation that bans harmful, unnecessary plastics from our environment, and reduces the amount of noxious materials in our waste stream, which inevitably pollute low-income communities of color. Only a styrofoam ban will truly bring our City closer to a fair, zero-waste system.
Read Politico's coverage of the Styrofoam debate
Representatives of NYC-EJA, ALIGN, El Puente, and IBEW Local 3 at the report's launch on 5/3/17.

This month, the Climate Works for All coalition launched the report " Restart Solar - Energizing Environmental Justice Communities" at a community event hosted by El Puente in Brooklyn. NYC-EJA's Resiliency Planner Annel Hernandez was the lead author of the report, which focused on prioritizing public solar installations in environmental justice communities. The report included four strategies to ensure that our public solar installations not only reduce our City's carbon emissions, but also reflect our commitment to low-income communities and communities of color that continue to suffer the brunt of environmental injustice in New York City.
People's Climate Movement, photo via Color Lines
Be sure to check for more exciting news from NYC-EJA on our  website and in future newsletters! And if you like what you read, please consider making a tax-exempt donation to support our work. 
Eddie Bautista 
Executive Director 
New York City Environmental Justice Alliance