Friday, April 29, 2011

Musings on Energy & Environmental Justice Conferences


By Norris McDonald

I'll bet that I was the only person to participate in both the American Association of Blacks in Energy 34th Annual Conference and the 5th Annual Environmental Justice in America 2011 Conference.  Both conferences were on the same days but in different cities.  The AABE conference was at the Hyatt in Jersey City, New Jersey and the EJ in America conference was at the Marriott in Washington, DC.  I moderated a panel, "Reducing Our Carbon Footprint," at the AABE conference. 

Both conferences were great.  Both were well atteneded with hundreds of participants and excellent forums.  Frank Stewart and Paula Jackson are the principal coordinators of the AABE conference and John Rosenthall is the coordinator of the EJ in America conference.

Maybe next year, if these two camps are going to hold their conferences on the same days, then maybe they should hold a co-conference at the Washington Convention Center or at the Gaylord Convention Center at National Harbor.

Paula Jackson For New AABE President

Select Paula Jackson

New AABE President

The African American Environmentalist Association (AAEA) is endorsing Paula Jackson to be the next president of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).

AAEA President Norris McDonald was president of the Washington, DC AABE Chapter from 1981 through 1984.

McDonald worked with Ms. Jackson when they traveled to South Africa for 9 days in 2010. [See videos below]

Paula Jackson is the consummate professional and would be a huge asset to AABE as its new president.

Frank Stewart Retiring as President of AABE

AAEA Will Miss This Energy Legend - Frank Will Remain Active On Energy Issues Though

Frank Stewart
Frank M. Stewart has served as the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) since April 2007. AABE’s overall mission involves providing its members (energy professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and students) a pathway to learn more about the energy industry through various means such as education, mentoring, community service and business networking.

Up to July 2004, Frank Stewart was the Executive Director of the Strategic Environmental Project Pipeline, (StEPP), Foundation, based in Denver, Colorado. The StEPP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established in 2001 to identify viable clean energy, energy efficiency, or pollution prevention projects that are appropriate to address specific criteria required by various funding sources. For the two years prior to accepting the role of Executive Director, Mr. Stewart served as the Chairman of the Board of the Foundation and was instrumental in guiding its creation and development.

The areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy have been Mr. Stewart’s professional focuses for nearly thirty years. From 1994 until his retirement from federal service in 2002, Mr. Stewart was the senior executive in charge of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bolden, Colorado office. In this role, he oversaw the drafting, review, and ratification of the contracts that governed most of the Department’s research, development and deployment in energy efficiency and renewable energy, including the technology development work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

From 1990 to 1994, he served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, with responsibility for several grant programs, and was the principle Federal executive responsible for the Energy Extensions Service and the Local Governments Programs. In addition, Mr. Stewart managed the development and operation of the Petroleum Violations Escrow Fund, a four billion dollar fund established by the federal courts to support energy efficiency efforts through State and Local government. He was also responsible for the Department’s international initiative to market energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Over the course of his DOE career, Mr. Stewart led several Department delegations abroad, including the 1988 Conference in Rome. He led the effort to train the staff of the African Development Bank in renewable energy technology; and he was a member of a National Science Foundation advisory team sent to assist the Romanian Government. He has represented the United States Government in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and Mozambique and made presentations at several US/African Ministerial Conference.

Mr. Stewart is the recipient of some of the US DOE’s highest awards including the Pride Award, the Meritorious Service Award, the Distinguished Career Service Award, and the Secretary of Energy’s Gold Medal. He was honored by the Association of Energy Engineers as its Energy Executive of the Year; the National Association of State Energy Officials named him their Energy Advocate of the Year; and he has received similar honors from Fort Valley State University, Texas Southern University, and North Carolina A&T University. Currently he is a member of the Board of Advisors of the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technologies and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policies and Technologies (NACEPT).

Mr. Stewart and his wife of forty-one years, Regina Diane, have two adult daughters. (AABE)

AABE Holds 34th Annual Conference in Jersey City, NJ

Conference Logo
The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) held its 34th national conference April 26-29, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City in Jersey City, New Jersey. The conference attracted hundreds of energy professionals from every sector of the energy industry.  Each year, AABE holds its national conference to promote professional development, share industry information, and provide networking opportunities. This year’s theme, “Our Energy, Our Future: Creating Sustainable Communities” examined how policy leaders, industry and communities must work together to ensure that all communities can access the opportunities in the emerging green economy.

AAEA President Norris McDonald moderated a panel on "Reducing Our Carbon Footprint."  Panelists included John Cain, Principal Advisor Carbon Management for Chevron, Robert Catell, Chairman of Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, Kipp Coddington, Partner in Mowrey, Meezan, Coddington & Cloud, and TJ Tuscai, Chief Operating Officer for NextEra Energy Resources, LLP.

“At a time when energy is a leading driver of economic growth, this conference provided the backdrop to what it means to have a sustainable community and how the energy industry is a leading innovator during these times”, said Frank Stewart, President and COO of the association. “While national policy encourages participation in our green economy, it is important to appreciate that industry, policy makers and communities are increasingly challenged to balance the competing needs of their constituents. This conference not only discussed the challenges, but also suggested some possible solutions.”

The 34th National Conference featured chief executives, regulators, government officials and other industry leaders from around the country.


Environmental Justice Conference a Very Big Success

State of Environmental Justice in America 2011 Conference

The National Small Town Alliance, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Howard University School of Law and others, kicked off the State of Environmental Justice in America 2011 Conference this week in Washington, D.C.

This year's conference theme was "Building the Clean Energy Economy with Equity," and focused on climate change, green jobs and equity for low-income, minority and Tribal populations. The main goal was to continue bringing together participants from Federal agencies, academia, business and industry, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations and local communities to participate in a dialogue on achieving equality of environmental protection.

It was always a dream of the environmental justice movement to hold consistent meetings to address the aforementioned issues. The annual E.J in America Conference, coordinated by John Rosehthall, has made that dream into a reality.

Some of the speakers included:

Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn (SC-6)
Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen (VI)
Robert Stanton, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior
The Department of Energy's Associate Deputy Secretary Melvin G. Williams Jr.
Harris Sherman, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ignacia Moreno, Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice

The conference was held April 27 - 29, 2011, at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center in Washington, D.C.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

AAEA - Texas Launches New Website

Delmetria Millener & Norris McDonald
AAEA Texas just launched a new website.  It looks great and is packed with interesting information about our activities in the Lone Star state.

AAEA Texas Director Delmetria Millener is busy greening Texas.

Friday, April 22, 2011

AAEA President Interviewed by Iran TV on Nuclear Power

AAEA President Norris McDonald is interviewed by Nisa Islam, Host of "American Dream" on Press TV [Iran Television], April 12, 2011 at 11 a.m.

AAEA produced a 'Making the American Dream Press TV Show on Nuclear Power.' This production included the entire interview by Nisa Islam with Norris McDonald.

AAEA President Featured Speaker at Chemist Conference

NOBCChE Executive Board Vice Chairman Perry L. Catchings, Sr. presents AAEA President Norris McDonald with a Kente Cloth, initiating him as an honorary member of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.

AAEA President Norris McDonald was the featured speaker at the Environmental Science and Policy Symposium at the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers 38th Annual Technology Conference at the Hilton -Americas Hotel in Houston, Texas on April 20, 2011.

Part One

Part Two

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

EPA's Jackson Supports Faith-Based Initiative in Atlanta

EPA Chief To Atlanta to Announce Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative

Administrator Jackson to Also Focus on Children's Health Issues at Emory Town Hall Meeting

On Monday, April 18, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson traveled to Atlanta to announce the formation of EPA’s Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) Initiative. The Administrator, joined by Dr. Gerald Durley and other community leaders, took part in a roundtable discussion Monday morning on the new initiative. Faith institutions and community groups are an integral part of many of our communities and can play a powerful role in environmental education efforts to support cleaner communities and healthier families.

Later in the afternoon, Administrator Jackson keynoted a Children’s Health Town Hall Meeting at Emory University attended by members of the Rollins School of Public Health and other doctors and health advocates. Children are particularly susceptible to toxins and pollutants in our air and water. Some forms of pollution can cause mental and physical developmental problems, respiratory illnesses and even deaths in children.

EPA recently announced proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards which would require power plants to use pollution control technologies to cut harmful emissions of mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases. These pollutants are linked to neurological problems, developmental disorders in children, respiratory illnesses and other debilitating, costly and often fatal health challenges. Adoption of wide-spread pollution control technology will prevent an estimated 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks while also preventing 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and ensuring about 11,000 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children. For more information on EPA's proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards go to:

EPA has pledged to work to expand the environmental conversation and build partnerships between government, faith-based and neighborhood organizations to clean up our air, land and water, keep children and families healthy and work for environmental justice.

WHAT: Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Roundtable Discussion

WHO: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Congressman John Lewis (D-GA)
Gwen Keyes Fleming, EPA Regional Administrator
Dr. Gerald L. Durley, Senior Pastor Providence, Missionary Baptist Church
Rev. Brent Owens, St. Alban's Episcopal Church
Alexis Chase, Executive Director, Georgia Interfaith Power & Light
Sally Bethea, Executive Director Upper Chattahoochee River Keepers

EPA Launches Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative

EPA’s coordination with White House effort will support environmental education and healthier families

Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) initiative. This announcement reflects EPA’s commitment to the goals of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a priority of President Obama’s. Strong relationships with faith and neighborhood organizations will help promote environmental stewardship that will lead to cleaner communities, encourage healthier families and build a stronger America. These relationships will also help EPA assist communities during times of environmental crisis.

On February 9, 2010, President Barack Obama signed executive order 13498 establishing the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and created an advisory council, which is composed of 25 religious, secular leaders and scholars, and 12 federal faith-based and neighborhood partnerships centers to assess and strengthen partnerships between the U.S. government and community-serving organizations. EPA joined the partnership in October 2010.

Through this initiative, EPA will focus on four areas: establishing a center to work with faith-based and neighborhood groups to increase awareness of environmental issues in communities throughout the country, developing a national plan of action to foster strong relationships between faith and neighborhood organizations, building partnerships between those organizations and government, and developing a website that will house environmental education tool kits and resources.

EPA has pledged to work to expand the environmental conversation and continue the fight for environmental justice to relieve the burdens of pollution in poor and minority communities. In addition, EPA will work with participating institutions to bring green jobs to these communities, increase energy efficiency through EPA’s Energy Star for Congregations program, and improve environmental education and communications. (EPA)

More information

Friday, April 15, 2011

President Obama at Al Sharpton's MLK, Jr. Commemoration


By Norris McDonald

It has been a week since I attended Rev Al Sharpton's annual tribute to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  President Obama spoke at the event and that gave the dinner/tribute an entirely different flavor.  I have been to several of the annual dinners and have participated in Rev Sharpton's accompanying conference.  This time we had to 'processs in' at the Sheraton in mid-town Manhattan.  It gave the event an extra added flavor of  'importance.'  We lined up on the street outside and everybody shared various little stories.  I invited my friend Cathy Taylor to accompany me to the event.  She's a Manhattan corporate lawyer.

President Obama's speech was 'on the money.'  He was clearly reaching out to the African American community by appearing at the Sharpton event.  Sharpton was 'eating it up.'  Enjoying every minute of having the President of the United States as the keynote speaker at his annual dinner.  I love attending these types of events.  Rev Sharpton and President Obama are two of the smartest men I have ever met.  Seeing them cooperate at such an event was inspiring to me.  Although people see Rev Sharpton as some kind of street ramblerouser, this dinner is always sponsored by some of the largest corporations in America.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Congressional Black Caucus Alternative Budget for FY 2012

From the CBC Executive Summary:
Our nations's communities of color have been hit hardest bythe effects of the recession.  Even as our nation's economy slowly emerges from the recession, these communities experience disproportionately higher rates of unemployment, home foreclosure, educational disadvantages and economic hardship.  As a result, vulnerable communities are increasingly relying on public programs to meet their basic needs.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has a long history of submitting fiscally sound and responsible alternatives to budgets offered by both Republican and Democratic presidents.  The CBC Alternative Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 continues this long tradition, putting forth a plan that reduces the deficit over the next decade, and increases economic opportunities and job creation while ensuring sustained investments in education, job training, transportation and infrastructure, and advanced research and development.
AAEA President Norris McDonald wrote the energy, environment and natural resources sections of the CBC alternative budgets from 1980 - 1985.

Environmental & Energy Sections of the CBC Alternative Budget:

Repeal the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit

Blenders of ethanol and gasoline currently receive a 45 cent per gallon tax credit known as the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). The tax credit, cited by the Government Accountability Office as "among the most wasteful programs: in the federal government, costs taxpayers approximately $6 billion each year.  Additionally, the negative impact of the VEETC on the food prices is evident and is a direct result of this government subsidy. Prior to the enactment of the VEETC, the use of corn for ethanol was approximately 15% of the overall market. Today, the use of corn is approximately 39% of the market and will continue to rise.  As a result, corn futures are at their highest since the summer os 2008. These high prices hurt food producers, businesses, and working American families.

The CBC Budget projects that repealing the VEETC would save $60 bilion over the next decade.

Investment in the Green Economy

The growing "Green Economy" presents an opportunity to create large numbers of quality gree-collar jobs for American workers, to grow emerging industries and to improve the health of low-and middle income Americans.  Any public investment in the Green Economy should include serious efforts to train, emply and provide public service opportunities that lead to full-time employment in these industries.  This is a signnificant opportunity to make cost-effective public and private investments to rebuild and retrofit our nation. Through increased spending in Functions 270 (Energy), 300 (Natural Resources) and 500 (Education, Training, Employment and Social Services), the CBC Budget recommends the following:

Develop a career pipeline, particularly in low-and middle income communities, through training, job readiness, and entrepreneurship programs. Help to ensure that people who most need work are prepared for jobs and careers in energy efficiency and energy service industries.  Local Hiring practices will be critical to engage these distressed communities.

Develop Green Energy Centers of Excellence at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) to research and develop new green technologies as well as train implementers in the deployment of green innovation.  HBCUs maintain unique relationships with communities of color, and we should implement their ability to educate these communities on opportunities in emerging green economy.

Apply large-scale energy saving measuringto the nation's older buildings, which will create  hundreds of thousands of green-collar jobs while dramatically reducing American's energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Function 270: Energy   + $2,000,000,000

Building on the significant investments made by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Research Projects Agency at the Department of Energy; the Weatherization Assistance Program; Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs; State and Tribal Assistance Grants; and investments in clean energy technolgoies.

Function 300: Natural Resources and Environment      +1,000,000,000

The CBC Budget invests additional funding for this function to apply towards increased funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund; the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; Chesapeake Bay Restoration; the Environmental Protection Agency; the HBCU Historic Preservation Program; the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom; Army Corps of Engineers; the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration; and Environmental Justice related programs.

Function 350: Agriculture        +500,000,000

The CBC Budget invests additional funding for this function to apply towards the Black/Minority Farmer Initiative, 1890 Land-Grant HBCUs, and other programs that support American's family-owned farms.

CBC Alternative Budget for FY 2012

Atlanta Civil Rights Leaders Call for Halt to Water Fluoridation

Former U.N. Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and

Prominent Pastor Gerald Durley Call for Repeal of Fluoridation Law in GA

Andrew Young
Citing concern that fluoridated water disproportionately harms poor citizens and black families, influential Atlanta civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Gerald Durley are calling on top Georgia legislators to repeal Georgia’s mandatory water fluoridation law.  Young and Durley recently sent letters to legislators in the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives.

Increasing numbers of cities are examining the risks of adding fluorides to water to help prevent cavities after a 2006 National Research Council (NRC) report documented volumes of research never conducted on the whole-body safety of fluorides and fluoridation.

Information in the report appeared in stark contrast to decades of assurances from fluoridation promoters that fluoridation has been extensively researched. The NRC report also described fluoride risks for babies, kidney patients, diabetics, and seniors, and set the stage for a little-publicized change of stance by the Centers for Disease Control on baby formula.

CDC now says that parents can use low-fluoride water when mixing milk formula to reduce the risk of permanent teeth staining caused by fluorides.

The Gerber company is selling an unfluoridated bottled water so parents and caregivers can avoid using fluoridated water in formula.

Bottled water may not be a feasible solution for many families, however.

In a personal letter sent to the Georgia legislators, Ambassador Young wrote,

“I am most deeply concerned for poor families who have babies: if they cannot afford unfluoridated water for their babi es’ milk formula, do their babies not count? Of course they do. This is an issue of fairness, civil rights, and compassion. We must find better ways to prevent cavities, such as helping those most at risk for cavities obtain access to the services of a dentist.

My father was a dentist. I formerly was a strong believer in the benefits of water fluoridation for preventing cavities. But many things that we began to do 50 or more years ago we now no longer do, because we have learned further information that changes our practices and policies. So it is with fluoridation.”
Dr. Durley’s letter addressed disproportionate fluoride harm to black citizens’ teeth, and noted that with disproportionate amounts of kidney disease and diabetes in the black community, blacks are more impacted by fluorides. He stated,

“We also need to know why the full story about harm from fluorides is only just now coming out. I support the holding of Fluoridegate hearings at the state and national level so we can learn why we haven’t been openly told that fluorides build up in the body over time (and) why our government agencies haven’t told the black community openly that fluorides disproportionately harm black Americans…“
Others are also concerned about harm to minority citizens and sensitive populations.

In an April 6th letter to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, the President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology noted, “The recent Health & Human Services attempt to somewhat lower the amount of fluorides in drinking water still does not address the fact that poor and minority families will be ingesting more fluorides than others, and it does not address dose – merely concentration in water.”

Reference Links / Sources:

* Letter to CDC Di rector from IAOMT President Matt Young
* Letter from Dr. Gerald Durley
* Letter from Ambassador Young
* Fluoridation Litigation Article in American Association for Justice newsletter
* Info on Gerber® unfluoridated water for mixing milk formula - note: click on “Product Features”
* Photos of dental fluorosis: - note: see both pages of photos
* National Research Council info on kidney patients and others as fluoride-susceptible groups - see p. 350
* Fluoride health effects database and professionals petition to end fluoridation
* Disproportionate harm to minorities -see Table 23:


Daniel G. Stockin, MPH The Lillie Center, Inc. P.O. Box 839 Ellijay GA 30540
Ph: 706-669-0786 Web

Monday, April 04, 2011

DeLoitte Report Critique of EPA Civil Rights

The DeLoitte Consulting LLP final report, "Evaluation of the EPA Office of Civil Rights," [EPA Report # EP10HOO2058, March 21, 2011] includes the following findings:
  1. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has not adequately adjudicated Title VI complaints - those addressing allegations of discrimination against communities of citizens affected by environmental rules promulgated by the EPA.  Only 6% of the 247 Title VI complaints have been accepted or dismissed within the Agency 20-day time limit. OCR's backlog of Title VI cases stretches back to 2001. At the time of the report's publication, there were numerous cases that have been awaiting action for up to four years. Two cases have been in the queue for more than eight years.
  2. OCR has struggled to track, investigate, and resolve Title VII cases - those addressing Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) violations inside the Agency - in a timely or effective manner.  OCR's Title VII function is know for poor inestigative quality and a lack of responsiveness.  It has not been able to perform its most fundamental Title VI administrative tasks related to filing mandatory reports and process complaints and writing final agency decisions. 
  3. OCR has not completed compliance checks of EPA grantees, in a timely or effective manner, to ensure that grantees are not engaging in discrimination in their work. 
  4. OCR has not consistently filed its statutory affirmative employment reports over the past five years, although the 2010 MD-715 was submitted on time.  In the area of Affirmative Employment and Diversity, OCR did not even complete its annual Management Directive 715 (MD-715) EEO report (a basic administrative task required of all Federal agencies) for 2006, 2007, and 2008. 
According to the report: "This situaton has exposed EPA's Civil Rights programs to significant consequences [that] have damaged its reputation internally and externally.  Much of this owes to OCR's challenges at the leadership levels over a period of years."

Report recommendations include:
  1. Complete efforts to fill OCR's leadership positions expeditiously with qualified, experienced, and motivated civil rights professionals. A competent leadership team will enable OCR to implement all of the other needed changes, while building credibility. 
  2. Reevaluate all staff job roles and formally document required skills, competencies and experiences for each role.  With well-defined job roles, OCR can evaluate its current workforce against the requirement and identify gaps. 
  3. Develop and execute a workforce plan that includes creation of well-defined career paths, employee performance management processes, new training programs and employee recruiting and selection processes.
The report concludes: "Building a more capable workforce from top to bottom will enable EPA and OCR to address its significant day-to-day opeating issues and implement the other more strategic changes that are required."

The DeLoitte Report was commissioned by EPA.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Lisa Jackson, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo & Carol Browner


By Norris McDonald

Rafael DeLeon Too

More than 10 years down the road and the same racial/gender issues are still perculating at EPA.  I first felt these pains over a decade ago.  I was baffled as to why Carol Browner was completely offended by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo's claims of racial and gender discrimination.  Now I am revisiting these 'pains' as Adebayo and Jackson appear to be on a collision course to repeat the conundrum of the Browner administration.  Sigh.  Can't we all just get along?

I really like EPA Administrator Jackson. And Marsha is one of my dearest friends.  Any enmity between them just pains me to no end.  As a chronic, acute asthmatic, I surely wish these two ladies will not make me wheeze. 

I could be wrong here but I do believe that Marsha's tribulations had something to do with Lisa Jackson becoming administrator and Michelle DePass becoming the director of the Office of International and Indian Affairs.  They might dispute this conclusion, but I suspect that my assessment is true.

I lived through Marsha's EPA nightmare.  I also worked right next to her in getting the NO FEAR ACT passed.  I have observed Lisa and Michelle as they have flourished under the Obama administration.  This, even as the bane of Marsha's existence--Carol Browner--was appointed as Climate Czar by President Obama.  It appears that everybody, except Marsha, is enjoying the status quo.  Yet Marsha has a book coming out this year.  She also has a movie in the works.  And I just want these ladies to 'get along.'

Anti-Rafael DeLeon Campaign

Lisa Jackson Response

Deloitte Report

Lisa Jackson Praises EPA's Civil Rights & Diversity Programs

Issues Memo To EPA Staff Day After Critics Target Rafael DeLeon

I am proud of the progress we have made during the past 24 months. In December 2009, we appointed a special counsel for Title VI to help the EPA address a number of longstanding complaints and the Title VI process. Working with the Office of General Counsel, we revitalized our efforts and processed the highest number of complaints in any year.
In December 2010, I appointed Rafael DeLeon as our new director for the Office of Civil Rights; he is someone I knew would bring energy and experience to the post. Under his leadership, the EPA set a record for training its employees under the No Fear Act. Earlier this year, the EPA was timely in submitting its Management Directive 715 Report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which lays the foundation for collaboration among our civil-rights, diversity and human-resources programs and provides a comprehensive framework for strengthening and addressing a number of employment and civil-rights issues. Further, we are preparing to release the agency’s first anti-harassment policy and procedures, and we also will require that all EPA supervisors and managers include Equal Employment Opportunity language in their performance standards during the upcoming mid-year performance cycle.
View of Critics

Group Calls For Investigation of EPA Civil Rights Office Director

R.A.F.A.E.L. Calls for Women and Men Victimized
by Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Whistleblower Retaliation
at EPA to Step Forward

A group of former and current women EPA employees calling itself R.A.F.A.E.L. (Rejecting All Fear And EPA Lawlessness) today called for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to initiate an investigation of Rafael DeLeon, whom she recently named as the Director of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Mr. DeLeon has been the subject of numerous complaints by women at the Agency. "EPA has a long history of serious human, civil rights and personnel problems," said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo. Perhaps, Administrator Jackson is unaware of the Agency's sordid history. In any event, Mr. DeLeon must be investigated. If the facts of the investigation support the complaints, he must go."

A significant number of EPA women employees are calling for an independent investigation of Mr. DeLeon as well as former Deputy Chief of Staff Ray Spears and former EPA Director of Civil Rights, Karen Higginbotham. R.A.F.A.E.L. seeks not only Ms. Jackson's support but is appealing to members of Congress as well. "Congress took the initiative in 2001 when it passed the No FEAR Act,” a senior EPA manager said, “maintaining a hostile work environment, trading sexual favors, sexual, racial and color-based discrimination and retaliation is illegal.”

It was the successful lawsuit brought by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo against the EPA that triggered the No FEAR Act. According to Adebayo:
"Congress needs to exert its control again in the face of the hideous complaints we are receiving. We are prepared to ask Congress to reassert its commitment to a workplace free of whistleblower retaliation, sexual harassment, sexism and racism through additional legislation and hearings if EPA Administrator Jackson doesn’t address these alleged civil and human rights abuses."
R.A.F.A.E.L. says that Lisa Jackson, in particular, should have sensitivities about women's workplace protection against harassment, retaliation and discrimination owing to her gender and her being a woman of color herself. Several of the women expressed dismay at the irony of having the nation's first African-American president who is a civil rights attorney presiding over "plantation conditions inside the EPA."

According to a former senior official in the Office of Civil Rights:
"Placing Deleon in charge of the Office of Civil Rights is “like putting the fox in the hen house.” His appointment is an affront to all of the women who fight for civil rights in the work place and a particular outrage for the courageous women who have filed complaints against Mr. DeLeon in the past that cost them their careers. DeLeon’s appointment begs the question of whether EPA Administrator Jackson is committed to a workplace free of discrimination and abuse. As long as DeLeon is the Director of Civil Rights Administrator Jackson's EEO proclamations and her speeches on women’s rights and the bravery of Martin Luther King, Jr. ring hollow.” 
R.A.F.A.E.L. is calling on all employees, both men and women who allege that they have been discriminated against, sexually harassed, abused or suffered retaliation by DeLeon, Spears, and/or Higginbotham to come forward by writing to . The sources of all information will remain anonymous.

"We must put a stop to the legacy of retaliation and discrimination at the EPA so that another generation of public servants will not suffer," said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the leader of the No FEAR Coalition. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo won an historic lawsuit against the agency that lead to the first civil rights and whistleblower law, the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2001, (No Fear). Dr. Coleman-Adebayo is standing with the women at EPA who are complaining about EPA Administrator Jackson’s appointment of Mr. DeLeon to the civil rights position.


Kevin Berends
KMB Media Group