August 6, 2018
by Karen Hindie
The June GreenHomeNYC Forum, Sustainability and Social Justice, explored how less advantaged communities can benefit from sustainable development. Our speakers focused on construction, landscaping and agriculture-related jobs for low-income workers. Speakers Matthew Caruso, Program Manager for Intervine, a division of the Hope Program, and Thomas Perry, Bronx Program Director, described training and transitional jobs that prepared workers for permanent positions in construction and landscaping. Jose Chapa, Legislative Campaign Coordinator of the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign, represents farmworkers and agricultural workers across the state. He described the difficulties farmworkers have and attempts to correct them.
Hope Through Sustainable Job Training
Caruso and Perry spoke about the Hope Program, which enables people who have difficulty obtaining a job to acquire the skills necessary to start and maintain sustainable careers. The Hope Program’s Bronx location focuses on green construction and building operation skills through the Sustainable South Bronx
(SSBx) training program and transitional paid jobs for graduates of the program at Intervine
and Cool Roofs
. Through the SSBx 12-week training program, students are provided classroom education, and experience in creating and maintaining green infrastructure. They earn industry certifications in safety and basic construction skills. They also receive assistance with resume writing and interview skills.
December 4, 2017
by Pamela Berns
Photo credit: Pamela Berns
It’s been a year marked by extreme weather events, with hurricanes, fires, droughts, and flooding all across the globe. In the United States we saw Houston drown and Santa Rosa burn just a few months after Trump’s pullout from the Paris agreement in June. Climate advocacy groups, local policy makers, corporations, entrepreneurs, individuals, and nonprofits all stepped up their game in defense of the planet, and GreenHomeNYC was no exception.
Thanks to the dedication of our volunteers, we were able to deepen our commitment to providing education and calls to action. Our speakers and our blog writers shared critical information on local policy, business actions, and academic initiatives. Record numbers of event attendees turned up to hear from innovators in energy, food waste, recycling, and sustainable building. Green careerists came out to find out where to point their compasses in the new paradigm.
We’re proud of the hard work that went into this challenging year, and hope that our contributions made a difference. Here are just a few GreenHomeNYC highlights for 2017:
April 17, 2017
by Thomas Storck
This year’s Pa
tty Noonan Memorial Forum on Policy addressed concerns over proposed policy changes made by the current White House administration to undermine ongoing sustainability initiatives. Drawing inspiration from the legacy of founding GreenHomeNYC member Patty Noonan, Andy Padian,
President, PadianNYC Consulting, joined Marcia Bystryn,
President, NY League of Conservation Voters, and Charles Komanoff,
Director, Carbon Tax Center/Komanoff Energy Associates, to share past experiences and to offer insight into how to be an affective environmental advocate.
THIS IS WHAT AN ADVOCATE LOOKS LIKE
It was 14 years ago that a group of 30 affordable homes in the South Bronx became the first of their kind in New York State to be built to Energy Star standards. Compared to typical affordable housing in the area, the project cost $1.36 more per ft2 and used one-fifth the energy. Today, all affordable housing is built to similar standards, but we didn’t get there without a fight. “This was thought of as completely berserk,” said Andy Padian. “[The developer] wouldn’t have done it without Patty kicking really hard.”
To provide some historical context, Padian recalled the mood among his colleagues at Mayor Ed Koch’s Energy Office when President Reagan was elected. “We were horrifically depressed.” Yet despite the President zeroing out both weatherization funding and the Home Energy Assistance Program in every budget, he encountered push back from a variety of groups who worked together to voice their opposition. As a result, funding for these programs actually increased under Reagan. When NY Representative Bill Green opposed federal solar and conservation tax credits because his low-income constituents failed to take advantage, Padian called Green’s Legislative Assistant on Housing and Energy and explained how these credits could be useful. Much to Reagan’s disappointment, Green was persuaded to change his vote. “This is what advocacy is about,” Padian said.