Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Letter of Support
Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York, NY 10007
Re: Environmental Justice Act [Int. No. 886]
The African American Environmentalist Association supports Council Member Inez Barron’s Environmental Justice Act [Intro 886]. The legislation has numerous cosponsors and I sincerely hope that it will be passed by the council and that you will sign it into law. We encourage you to let the New York City Council know that you support the legislation and intend to sign it upon its passage by the Council.
Your OneNYC was recently the recipient of harsh criticism from environmental justice activists who said that it does not reflect equity. The criticism can be silenced if you support this legislation, which assures that the executive agencies and environmental justice activists will work together to bring about a just future.
The legislation is vitally important in protecting communities throughout New York City. At present, there is no national or state law that protects these communities. Int. No. 886 is a local law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to identifying and addressing environmental justice issues. Int. No. 886 sets up an interagency task force to develop agency-wide plans to assure that environmental justice in incorporated into the planning and implementation of agency duties. The legislation also creates an associated environmental justice advisory board, reflecting geographic balance, comprised of pertinent committee chairs or their designees, appointments from environmental justice community boards health or environmental committees, at least seven appointees who are directors, members or employees of environmental justice organizations and at least two appointees who are directors, members or employees of organizations engaged in research related to human health.
I drafted the Environmental Justice Bill for Councilman Charles Barron in 2003 and Councilmember Charles Barron introduced the bill (Int. No. 404) in 2004 with seven cosponsors. After meeting with Councilwoman Inez Barron in 2014 to request re-introduction of the legislation and after much review and revisions by the Committee on Environmental Protection, Councilwoman Barron introduced the legislation that we are considering today.
We encourage you to let the New York City Council know that you support Int. No. 886 in order to help accelerate passage of this legislation.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ) today announced that Guy O. Williams will become its first full-time President and CEO. Williams previously worked as a consultant and special advisor to the DWEJ Board of Directors and has worked closely with the organization since 2011.
The creation of this new position is driven by DWEJ’s desire to utilize organizational best practices. For the past five years, as special advisor to the Board of Directors, Williams has provided leadership that has positioned DWEJ to play a major role in Detroit’s transformation to a global model of sustainable redevelopment and a place where all thrive in environmental, economic and social health.
A graduate of Bucknell University, this summer Williams will be honored with the prestigious Bucknell University Alumni Board of Directors Award for Service to Humanity. Named 2014 Michigan Green Leader by the Detroit Free Press, Williams currently serves on the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Board of Directors and Chair Emeritus of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy Board of Governors. A Director on the Boards of Eastern Market Corporation and Pesticide Action Network North America, he also serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessment Center.
A frequent speaker and presenter at conferences locally and nationally, Williams is known for his commitment—both in the trenches and at the table—to fostering clean, healthy and safe communities through innovative policy, education and workforce initiatives. Over the years, he has gained the respect of people at all walks of life, from residents of Detroit to policy makers in Lansing and community leaders across the country, making him a powerful change agent.