Volume 7, Issue 1


As S nowpocalypse begins to recede, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) and our members are gearing up for a busy and exciting 2016.  Below are some recent developments that we will be tracking as the year proceeds.  
South Bronx Candidates Forum, photo by Emily Ahn Levy
South Bronx Candidates Forum

On January 28th, NYC-EJA co-sponsored a Candidates Forum in the South Bronx organized by our member Nos Quedamos. Eleven candidates are competing in a special election scheduled for February 23rd for the District 17 City Council seat recently vacated by Maria del Carmen Arroyo. The forum featured questions from journalists and the audience on topics including environmental justice, commercial waste, community gardens and open space, affordable housing and political corruption. 

Map of Hunts Point courtesy of NYCEDC
Hunts Point Resiliency Implementation

On December 11, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced that the CDBG-DR funding awarded to Hunts Point will go towards a pilot project in the Resilient Energy category. NYCEDC also released an RFP to advance multiple feasibility studies for both Resilient Energy and Flood Risk Reduction, and will continue to pursue additional funding for both project categories. 

As a reminder, Hunts Point received a combined $45 million dollars from both CDBG-DR funding and the City of New York for resiliency improvements as a result of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)'s Rebuild by Design Competition. NYC-EJA and our member organization in Hunts Point, THE POINT CDC, were appointed to the City's Working Group for the Hunts Point Resiliency Implementation process. 

Through this Working Group, NYC-EJA and THE POINT CDC have been able to position community priorities for projects that address the community's need for energy resiliency improvements and coastal protection. The Advisory Working Group developed a set of implementation principles for the  City to incorporate in the planning, implementation and ongoing operation of a pilot project. These guiding principles  ensure that future resiliency investments are responsive to community-defined priorities. Through our South Bronx Community Resiliency Agenda, we will continue to push for community needs. 
NYS Assembly Climate Change Roundtable
NYS Assembly Climate Change Roundtable

On December 2, 2015, the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation Assembly Climate Change Work Group hosted a roundtable to discuss the implications of New York's changing climate, including environmental justice. The Climate Change Work Group is chaired by Assemblyman Steve Englebright and aims to to explore policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the effects of climate change.

The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance was honored to have participated in this invitation-only roundtable along with our members El Puente, UPROSE, THE POINT CDC, and our allies at ALIGN. Through our presentations and comments throughout the discussion, we were able to inject a critical grassroots environmental justice lens into this statewide discussion. As a co- founder of NYRenews, NYC-EJA hopes this roundtable will reflect our new statewide campaign priorities.
OneNYC hearing on 12/14/15
One NYC Hearing

On December 14, 2015, the NYC City Council Committees on Recovery and Resiliency & Environmental Protection hosted a joint Oversight Hearing on the  OneNYC plan . Known as PlaNYC under the previous administration, OneNYC is the City's blueprint for sustainability and resiliency. 

Our Director of Research, Juan Camilo Osorio, presented testimony on  behalf of NYC-EJA. His testimony covered our research findings on the unique vulnerabilities of the city's  industrial waterfronts to various climate change  impacts and potential hazardous exposures in the event of severe  weather. Juan Camilo also emphasized the importance of a long term plan that addresses the needs of all vulnerable communities. He made 3 recommendations, which were: requiring a robust implementation plan for OneNYC, a comprehensive assessment and response to climate change impacts, and a genuine community engagement process to inform and oversee the implementation of OneNYC. 
Click here to read NYC-EJA's full testimony. 
New Team Members

Priya Mulgaonkar recently joined the NYC-EJA family as our new Policy Organizer. In this role, she will support NYC-EJA's various ongoing campaign work, including Transform Don't Trash, Climate Works For All, and NY Renews.

Prior to joining the NYC-EJA fa mily, she served as a Campaign Organizer for Environment New York, working to build a state-wide coalition urging Gov. Cuomo to commit to 20% solar energy by 2025. She also previously worked as a Research Assistant for Rebuild By Design, studying community resiliency and managed coastal retreat in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology from NYU, where she organized for fossil fuel divestment with NYU Divest.  Priya can be reached at [email protected] .  

New Fellows

With a new semester comes new NYC-EJA fellows from Pratt Institute's graduate program! Our new fellows are: 
  • Sabrina Bazile: Placed at Brooklyn Movement Center, Sabrina is currently pursuing her MS in City and Regional Planning 
  • Samudyatha Subbarama: Samu will be working at El Puente, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Sustainable and Environmental Systems 
  • Emily Ahn Levy: Emily is pursuing a graduate degree in Urban Placemaking & Management, and will work with Nos Quedamos
We look forward to all of the work our fellows will produce this semester.

To read their full biographies, and the biographies for all of our current fellows,  click here

NYC-EJA in the News  
Be sure to check for more exciting news from NYC-EJA on our website and in future newsletters!
In solidarity,
Eddie Bautista
Executive Director 
The New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
NYC Environmental Justice Alliance | 166A 22nd Street, Brooklyn NY 11232 | www.nyc-eja.org