Volume 14, Issue 4
Dear ,
Spring is in full swing and we are busier than ever. As we go to press, NYC-EJA and our allies are thoroughly reviewing the State budget deal for climate funding commitments, including the details of Governor’s proposed cap, trade and invest proposal. We will share our analysis in the weeks to come - in the meantime, please read on to learn more about our April accomplishments
NYC-EJA & CUNY Use $4M Grant to Establish
NYC Climate Justice Hub
NYC-EJA and The City University of New York (CUNY) have teamed up to establish the NYC Climate Justice Hub, a collaborative effort with environmental justice communities to advance climate solutions.

The NYC Climate Justice Hub will aid NYC-EJA, our members, and our campaigns as we fight for policies and projects that secure clean air, water, energy, and access to healthy food and green space. Over the next two years, faculty, students, and scholars from the CUNY Graduate Center and campuses throughout the CUNY system will collaborate on the ground with NYC-EJA and six of our members through classes based on local climate issues and campaigns, a summer climate leadership academy, annual fellowships, public programming activities, and interdisciplinary research teams to serve frontline communities and prepare students for professions in the climate sector and advance equitable climate solutions.

The $4 million grant is part of a nationwide initiative by the Waverley Street Foundation to redistribute decision-making power in the climate sector by funding partnerships that leverage key university resources — including scale, scope, and research expertise — to build capacity for organizations led by communities on the frontlines of climate breakdown.

Redesigning Our Streets and Truck Routes
NYC-EJA's Transportation Planner, Kevin Garcia (middle) testifies, alongside fellow community advocates, at the April 10th New York City Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing.
On Monday, April 10, our Transportation Planner, Kevin Garcia, alongside Sarah Elbakri, a representative from NYC-EJA member and Last-Mile Coalition member UPROSE, testified at the New York City Council Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on Int 708 and Int 924. The bills would require the NYC Department of Transportation to redesign the city’s truck route network and require the NYC Department of Transportation to study street design to limit or reduce the use of commercial vehicles on streets in residential neighborhoods, respectively. These two bills would address part of the pedestrian safety concerns caused by increased truck traffic from unregulated last-mile warehouses.

Click here to listen to the hearing.
Gov. Hochul Announces $15 Million in Cooling Assistance for Vulnerable New Yorkers
Governor Kathy Hochul announced that $15 million is available through the Home Energy Assistance Program to help vulnerable, low-income New Yorkers without air conditioning to stay cool during the heat of summer. The program can provide an air conditioner to eligible households that include someone who has a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat, or households with young children, or older adults.  

To qualify for the federally funded program, applicants must meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income thresholds, which vary by household size, and include at least one member of the household that suffers from a medical condition worsened by extreme heat, or is under age 6, or over age 60. For example, a household of four can earn up to $65,829 a year, or $5,485 per month, and still qualify for assistance.  

The program covers the cost of an air conditioning unit and installation. Up to 18,500 households are expected to be served throughout the state.  

Applications for cooling assistance will be accepted starting Monday, May 1, through August 31, or until funding runs out. New York City residents may apply in person at a local HRA Benefit Access Center, by phone, or online at access.nyc.gov.

The Governor’s program models a similar AC give-away program NYC-EJA championed for NYC at the high of the pandemic in 2020. NYC-EJA applauds the Governor for her HEAP support, as we have also encouraged since 2020.

Learn more here.
PEAK Coalition Statement on low NOx emissions rule for power plants during the ozone season.
PEAK Coalition celebrates the implementation of the first phase of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s rule reducing the allowable level of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from peaker power plants during the higher ozone level season, which comes into effect on May 1, 2023.

Peaker power plants often contribute to more than a third of New York State’s NOx emissions when operating. These emissions lead to significantly higher levels of asthma, disruption to cognitive development, and other cardiovascular issues in the environmental justice and other disadvantaged communities where peaker power plants are disproportionately sited.

Read more here
Say Hello To Our Newest Staff Members! 🫶🏽
Alan Minor is the NYC Climate Justice Hub Coordinator for the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. He is formally trained as a journalist, writer, researcher, community organizer and urban planner. Though originally from Birmingham, Ala., Alan has lived in New York City for the last 12 years and has been involved in a variety of community development efforts as a resident, tenant, general volunteer, worker, board member and founder and co-founder of initiatives focusing on spatial [in]justice primarily in Brooklyn neighborhoods. He has and continues to be involved in efforts to increase volunteering and community engagement, reduce litter and waste, increase transportation access, raise awareness about and address legacy and ongoing pollution, as well as promote documentation and education about local history.

Alan received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Alabama–Tuscaloosa and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute, where he wrote his master’s thesis on the concept of spatial justice and its applicability to the practice of urban planning and policymaking.
Brittney Monique Walker is NYC-EJA’s Communications & Development Associate. She is a narrative strategist with a love for BIPOC community storytelling. As a former reporter covering news, social justice issues, business, entertainment and travel, Brittney’s experience spans years of interviewing, investigating and story development in Los Angeles, Calif. and New York City. Over the last ten years, she has dedicated her craft to uplifting the voices of communities, non-profit organizations, Black-owned businesses and a local elected official through strategic communications work. Her interests include social justice and policy. Brittney received her bachelor’s degree in journalism at BIOLA University and enjoys hiking, camping, biking, surfing and beekeeping.
Green Transit, Green Jobs
On Tuesday, April 25, NYC-EJA, ElectrifyNY coalition members, labor allies, and elected officials held a virtual press conference reintroducing the Green Transit, Green Jobs bill (S.6089/A.6414). Transportation is one of the largest contributors to emissions in New York State, and to meet the State’s climate targets, an emissions-free public transportation network is needed. The bill would require all transit agencies in the state to begin purchasing zero-emission buses starting on January 01, 2029, while providing protections for workers and contributing to good, community-sustaining jobs.

Click here to view the press event.

Be sure to check for more exciting news from NYC-EJA about our ongoing work, 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.