Founded in 1991, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 city-wide membership network linking grassroots organizations from low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in their struggle for environmental justice. NYC-EJA empowers its member organizations to advocate for improved environmental conditions and against inequitable environmental burdens by the coordination of campaigns designed to inform City and State policies. Through our efforts, member organizations coalesce around specific common issues that threaten the ability for low-income communities of color to thrive. NYC-EJA is led by the community-based organizations that it serves, with its board elected by its member groups, who set policy and guide program development. What distinguishes NYC-EJA is our ability to:
- Create, nurture, and organize a collective voice to mobilize citywide support to resolve environmental justice issues.
- Highlight key environmental justice issues and policies that arise in multiple communities, or impact citywide conditions, requiring innovative and creative problem solving.
- Involve people of color and other stakeholders directly affected by environmental justice issues in leadership roles to resolve them.
Board of Directors
THE POINT CDC
We Stay/ Nos Quedamos
Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
Elizabeth C. Yeampierre
Morningside Heights/ West Harlem
Mark Winston Griffith
Brooklyn Movement Center
Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, eddie@NYC-EJA.org
Eddie Bautista is an award-winning community organizer and urban planner. In February 2010, Eddie resigned as Director of the Mayor’s Office of City Legislative Affairs to take the reins at NYC-EJA. The Mayor’s Office of City Legislative Affairs is the Mayor’s local lobbying office representing the Mayor and City agencies at the City Council, and serving as liaison between the Bloomberg Administration and the Comptroller, Public Advocate and Borough Presidents. As Director, Eddie spearheaded efforts to pass several major pieces of legislation, including: the City’s 20-year landmark Solid Waste Management Plan (which relied for the first time on principles of environmental justice and borough equity); the creation of the first municipal brownfields remediation office in the nation; the required retrofit of all diesel-powered school buses to reduce air pollution in bus cabins; and the Greater Greener Buildings Plan, the nation’s first comprehensive package of legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency for large scale buildings. Eddie also facilitated meetings for policy advocates with Administration officials on a range of legislative and regulatory initiatives such as PlaNYC 2030 (NYC’s environmental sustainability plan, which has become an international model for large cities) and Mayoral Executive Order 120 of 2008, which for the first time called for all City agencies to make services and documents available to immigrant New Yorkers in the top six languages spoken in the City.
Previously, Eddie was the Director of Community Planning for NY Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), where he served as the lobbying/communications/community organizing director for this non-profit civil rights law firm. At NYLPI, Eddie organized numerous grassroots coalitions and campaigns, including the Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods (OWN) and Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE), two citywide coalitions of community-based organizations which blocked the siting of mega-waste transfer stations, large power plants, incinerators and sludge plants in environmentally-burdened, low income communities of color, while changing City and State solid waste and energy policies. Eddie has written articles and been interviewed for local and national news broadcasts. Eddie has a B.A. from N.Y.U., an M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. In 2003, Eddie was among 17 national winners of the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World awards. Nine books feature or mention Eddie’s work, including Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice, by Julie Sze (2006); We Won’t Move: Community Planning in The Real Estate Capital of the World, by Tom Angotti (2008); and The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs by Roberta Brandes Gratz (2010). Eddie is also a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture’s Graduate Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development, where he teaches courses that apply basic principles and practices of city planning and urban design to specific topical projects.
Pamela Soto, Research Analyst, pamela@NYC-EJA.org
Pamela Soto is the Research Analyst for the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, where she focuses on climate justice and the resilience of industrial waterfront communities. She previously worked for the NYC Parks Department as the Communications Associate for the Bronx River Alliance. Born and raised in New York City, she interned for UPROSE in Sunset Park as an undergraduate, and has also served as the Coastal Zone Fellow for the New Haven City Plan Department. She received her Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry, where she focused on Urban Ecology and Sustainable Urban Planning, and her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Yale College.
Priya Mulgaonkar, Policy Organizer, priya@NYC-EJA.org
Priya Mulgaonkar is the Policy Organizer for the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. She works primarily on NYC-EJA’s solid waste campaigns, and supports community energy work with the Brooklyn Alliance for Sustainable Energy. Prior to joining the NYC-EJA family, she served as a Campaign Organizer for Environment New York, working to build a state-wide coalition urging Gov. Cuomo to make strong commitments to solar energy. She also previously worked as a Research Assistant for Rebuild By Design, studying community resiliency and managed coastal retreat in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. She received her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology from NYU, where she organized for fossil fuel divestment with NYU Divest.
Annel Hernandez, Resiliency Planner, annel@NYC-EJA.org
Annel Hernandez is the Resiliency Planner with the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. Previously, as Research Assistant with the Urban Climate Change Research Network at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, she collaborated with scholars, experts, and advocates on pushing forward new climate change resources for cities. Annel also worked in the NYC Mayor’s Office as Social Innovation Fund Advisor managing the program implementation of a multi-city initiative focused on economic opportunity programs, and was also a NYC Urban Fellow. Annel received an MPA in Energy and Environment from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she also worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Earth Institute and a Research Assistant at the Institute of Latin American Studies. She received her BA in Political Science and Latin American & Latino Studies from Fordham University.
Kartik Amarnath, Energy Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kartik Amarnath is the Energy Planner for NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. He provides outreach, advocacy, and research support for REVitalize, a project focused on community-based energy planning, along with NYC-EJA’s ongoing energy campaign work. He has previously worked with the HOPE Foundation, CDC, National Science Foundation’s REU program, Democracy Now!, C40, and the Tishman Environment and Design Center. He spent the 2013-2014 academic year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as a Fulbright researcher studying the impacts of gentrification in his mother’s childhood neighborhood. Born in Indianapolis, he was raised in four countries and is of Sri Lankan Tamil and Indo-Malaysian descent. He received a B.A. in Biology with minors in Anthropology and Philosophy from DePauw University and a M.S. in Design and Urban Ecologies from the New School.
In partnership with Pratt Institute’s programs for Sustainable Planning and Development, NYC-EJA recruits Pratt PSPD graduate students for a year-long fellowship. Fellows work directly with the member organizations, supporting community outreach, research and policy analysis. Prospective candidates should email Priya Mulgaonkar, NYC-EJA’s Policy Organizer, at priya@NYC-EJA.org.
Rohan Narang, Brooklyn Movement Center
Rohan Narang is from New Jersey and commuted to New York City often. He has interned for government agencies and non-profits in NYC, Boston and Abroad. International travel influenced his passion for cities. He has attained a B.S. degree in Sustainable Community Development from UMass Amherst. He is interested in the environmental concentration in the field of City and Regional Planning as a Masters student at Pratt Institute. He aims to be part of process that makes cities more sustainable through three interdisciplinary pillars of economy, environment and society. Rohan wants to learn about the research and campaigns that NYC-EJA develops in order to contribute to a great cause for communities.
Ankita Nalavade, El Puente
Ankita is an architect from India who has special interest in sustainability interwoven within urban communities. Sustainability linked all her design works during undergrad. She has completed a certificate course (CSEB- Compressed Stabilized Earth Block) from Auroville Earth Institute in India. Her design dissertation was based on historical relationships of Indian villages with environmental systems. She worked in a design firm called “Sanjay Puri architects”, where she worked on multiple local and international projects at various levels including design development, working drawings and site execution. Ankita also worked as a research assistant with an NGO, River march, where she was part of the team that studied sources of river contamination by site survey and geo-referencing historical maps of Mumbai city. Currently, she is pursuing Masters in Sustainable Environmental Systems from Pratt Institute and is an active member of Diversity Initiative Group (Pratt Institute).
Neelu Marigoudar, Morningside Heights West Harlem Sanitation Coalition
Neelu Marigoudar is an architect from India with a special interest in community planning and sustainability. She is perceiving her graduate studies at Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development. In addition she is a certified LEED Green Associate. With an year full of experience at Pratt Planning + Design, LLC she has gained the skills to work under a design and planning professional to address many outlying community related issues. She understands Cities as systems, that needs to be well managed and sustainable not just for the next few more years but for many more generations to come. Her interests as a Sustainability majors student, lies in working for innovative planning and design of the cities while addressing the sustainability issues. She believes in creating spaces for the community in the Urban set up while working in close knit with them as she believes that engaging people in the process of planning and design while also educating them about the recent know hows is a great democratic way of addressing any issues. It is a great opportunity with NYC-EJA and its member organizations for her to explore all her learning options to create a resilient and sustainable communities in the near future.
Yeshashwini Kadiri, NYC-EJA
Yeshashwini Kadiri is an architect from India with an enthusiasm for sustainability and social equity. As an architect, she took a shot at outlining numerous LEED structures one of which was redesigning an architectural school into a net zero structures. Her energy for urban improvement advanced from a venture in India "Emphasizing Golconda Fort into an UNESCO Heritage Site". Taking her enthusiasm forward in urban planning, she helped Ar.N.V.Subba Rao research about public squares and their effect. She is now seeking an MS in City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute. As a planning student, she worked with Chaaya CDC fortify the BASE Campaign for Jackson Heights to reinforce affordable housing, strengthen socio-economic and environmental resiliency. She strongly feels that it is a planner’s responsibility to consider environmental justice as an ethic and is looking forward to learn from NYC-EJA.
Manjusha Patnaik, THE POINT CDC
An urban conservationist from India, Manjusha holds a masters degree in architectural conservation from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. She has worked on various architectural, planning and urban renewal projects in both India and US advocating for trans-disciplinary approaches towards value-based conservation and development of traditional settlements and historic cities. Her pedigree in urban conservation has led her to value the common wisdom ingrained in cohesive communities and traditional knowledge systems pertaining to their socio-cultural, built and natural environments. Manjusha returned to the academia to pursue MS in Sustainable Environmental Systems in Pratt Institute to underpin her beliefs on sustainability and resiliency with scientific arguments. A proponent of sustainability in its entirety balanced on social equity, economic development and environmental stewardship, she is excited to work with THE POINT CDC and learn from first-hand experience of working with vulnerable communities entrenched with environmental injustice.
Santiago Salamanca, UPROSE
Santiago Salamanca was Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. He earned a BA in economics from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. He is currently pursuing an MS in City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute. Before coming to New York, Santiago worked in real estate development and finance, but was always passionate about cities. Santiago wants to learn more about social justice issues while helping communities create positive social changes and is very excited to do that with NYC-EJA and UPROSE. In his spare time he loves being with his family and exploring different places in New York as well as playing soccer.
Nikki Laureola, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
Nikki Laureola is a native of Los Angeles, California, where she worked for various community-based and environmentally-focused non-profits in event planning, production and promotion during and after her time at the University of Southern California. In addition to a B.A. in Narrative Studies and Visual Culture, she has earned CAD Technician and LEED Green Associate credentials -- currently applying a multidisciplinary approach to the field of Urban Placemaking and Management as a Masters student at Pratt Institute. She is dedicated to building a better future through global application of responsible resource management and environmental best practice and looks forward to learning more from her NYC-EJA colleagues in order to cultivate a more resilient society of self-sufficient thinkers for a holistically sustainable planet.