Last Friday, the Human Impacts Institute attended the NYC Green Groups Coalition’s quarterly meeting in order to discuss four key issues, namely:
1. What did we accomplish in 2013? Legislative and regulatory achievements
2. NYLCV (New York League of Conservation Voters) resources: NYC new general guide, council scorecard 2012-13
3. Four-year policy agenda for Mayor de Blasio’s first term
4. Priorities this year: legislative, regulatory and budgetary
The meeting was open to anyone working on a sustainability issue to ensure that New York City continues on a sustainable path. One recurring topic on everyone’s minds seemed to be the transition period for the new mayor, Bill de Blasio. Communication with his office was going slower than many had anticipated, but it was agreed that this did not indicate a lack of support for the collective issues and actions. More likely, Mayor de Blasio is still getting settled in his new post and would respond to green inquiries and actions in due time. The group then focused on what they would like the mayor to prioritize, and how to get the main issues noticed sooner rather than later.
There were several groups with updates about transportation issues that they are currently pushing for. From lowering the speed limit to 20 mph in pedestrian zones to improving Select Bus Service around the city, the topic of transportation was a main focus point during the meeting. One particular item of interest to many New Yorkers was the possibility of another MTA fare hike before 2017, which begged the question, will there ever be a cap on the cost of riding the subway?
Some of the takeaways from the meeting included the NYC 2014-18 policy agenda releasing in early March, and a plan for NYLCV to ask the director of the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability (OLTPS) to present at the next group meeting in early April to discuss their priorities and the next PlaNYC update. They also planned to monitor a few programs and budgetary items including some parks, Department of Transportation, Vision Zero, and the NYC Clean Heat program.
Links to some of the key campaign issues discussed at the meeting can be found here:
▪ ALIGN NY – Commercial Waste Reform, Alliance for a Just Rebuilding
▪ WE ACT - Green Bus Depot, 135th MTS Waterfront Access, SBS
▪ Transportation Alternatives – Vision Zero
▪ EDF – NYC Clean Heat Program
▪ The Sallan Foundation – energy efficiency & affordable housing
Stay tuned for more green news! Check out Human Impacts Institute’s Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs!
By Rose Bowen, Environmental Leadership Intern