AboutUs_MainImage

Mission

Founded in 1991, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 citywide 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.

On April 6th 2017, the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance celebrated 25 Years and (Social) Change. This epic event commemorated the contributions to and the achievements of the environmental justice movement in New York City over the last 25 years.  Read more about our 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration.

Board of Directors

Damaris Reyes
GOLES
Lower East Side

Danny Peralta
THE POINT CDC
South Bronx

Elizabeth C. Yeampierre
UPROSE
Southwest Brooklyn

Frances Lucerna
El Puente
North Brooklyn

Jessica Clemente
We Stay/Nos Quedamos
South Bronx

Michael Higgins
Brooklyn Movement Center
Central Brooklyn

Staff

Eddie_062614Eddie 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.

Annel Hernandez | Associate Director | annel@nyc-eja.org

Annel Hernandez is the Associate Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. Annel works on city and statewide climate policy issues, focusing on local advocacy and research that further equitable investments in coastal resiliency, green infrastructure, renewable energy, and resilient energy systems. She also works on various coalition campaigns to push for more aggressive climate legislation – with equity as a central focus. Annel conducts research on the benefits of an integrated climate resiliency approach and develops pathways to implementation in frontline communities. Annel participates in energy regulatory processes, influences stormwater policies, supports solar project development, and worked to guide the priorities of Federally-funded projects in New York City. Annel also worked in the NYC Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity 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. She previously worked with the Urban Climate Change Research Network at the Earth Institute, collaborating with scholars, experts, and advocates on pushing forward new climate change resources for cities. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Earth Institute and a Research Assistant at the Institute of Latin American Studies.  Annel received an MPA in Energy and Environment from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her BA in Political Science and Latino Studies from Fordham University.

Carlos Garcia | Energy Planner | carlos@nyc-eja.org

Carlos Garcia is the Energy Planner for the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA). His work supports identifying high-impact renewable energy investment opportunities in low- to moderate-income communities, supporting energy transitions that lead to a low carbon pathway, and working on frameworks to determine the developmental and economic benefits associated with reducing climate pollution. His primary responsibilities include data analysis, advocacy, project management, and policy & economic modeling. This work spans across NYC-EJA’s’ program areas but focuses on our REVitalize, NY Renews, and Climate Works for All campaigns. Carlos is also helping in developing the analytical basis and strategies to support policy and local advocacy efforts to replace local fossil-fuel peaker power plants with energy storage. He has previously worked at environmental law firms, the PeaceCorps, the Peruvian Government, Harvard University, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and as a University of Pennsylvania Energy Policy Fellow. Carlos has earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Goucher College and a Master’s in Environmental Policy and Certificate of Law the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Victoria Sanders | Research Analyst | victoria@nyc-eja.org

Victoria Sanders is the Research Analyst at the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA). At NYC-EJA, her work includes research and advocacy to support NYC-EJA’s environmental health initiatives to promote equitable, resilient, and healthy communities. Her work primarily focuses on climate change induced extreme weather, pollution prevention, air quality, and promoting green infrastructure in environmental justice communities. She has previously worked at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Communicable Disease focusing on epidemiological data analysis and Milestone Technologies, a technology company in which she worked in Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Victoria has an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with a certificate in Climate and Health. During her time at Columbia, she worked as a Lead Teaching Assistant for the Determinants of Health CORE class and served as President of the student organization, Students for Environmental Action. Victoria received her BS in Psychology from the University of California, Davis.

Shravanthi Kanekal | Resiliency Planner | shravanthi@nyc-eja.org

Shravanthi Kanekal is the Resiliency Planner for the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance.
She is an urban planner with experience in climate change adaptation and sustainability strategies. Her interests lie in collaborative civic engagement, the intersection of design and policy, and its effect on social equity within communities. She has contributed to plans addressing sea level rise, carbon emission reduction and disaster management for municipalities and a large university. She previously worked as a policy planner with a consulting firm specializing in hazard mitigation planning. She also has four years of experience as an architect working on commercial, residential, and historic preservation and restoration projects. Shravanthi received a Masters of City Planning with a concentration in Land Use and Environmental Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from R.V. College of Engineering.

 

Tok Michelle Oyewole, Ph.D. | Policy & Communications Organizer | tok.michelle@nyc-eja.org

Dr. Michelle Tokunbo ‘Tok’ Oluwaseyi Oyewole is NYC-EJA’s Policy & Communications Organizer and leads our solid waste equity campaigns. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Geography, studying how school garden programs throughout Brooklyn can maximize liberatory potential for racially-minoritized young people, while highlighting inequitable distributions of environmental and social burdens. Her Master’s degree focused on how farmers’ organic amendment (e.g. compost) management practices affect field-scale GHG emissions, as well as recommendations for California to improve carbon sequestration legislation. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Minor in Geography/Environmental Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has worked with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, assessing school-based health intervention programs in NYC neighborhoods with disproportionate health burdens. She has also worked in Lagos,Nigeria at Community Conservation and Development Initiatives, as a farmer and educator in Ecuador, and with the Planning and Conservation League in Sacramento, California. During graduate school, she was a student leader with the statewide University of California Student Association (UCSA), as the Graduate and Professional Student Chair and a Legislative Director. She was also an instrumental organizer in the 2010 statewide campaign that successfully prevented the Koch brothers and oil industry from repealing California’s Global Warming Solutions Act. 

 

Kevin Garcia | Transportation Planner | kevin@nyc-eja.org

Kevin Garcia is the Transportation Planner at the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. Before joining NYC-EJA, Kevin was the Bus Campaign Manager with Tri-State Transportation Campaign where he organized bus riders to raise awareness about issues facing the majority of NJ Transit riders. He helped win a bus network redesign, a commitment from the state governor to electrify NJ Transit’s bus fleet, and established the Bus Riders’ Bill of Rights. Kevin has led outreach efforts for an economic mobility nonprofit to increase wages and earnings for low to moderate income families and public housing residents in New York City. Prior to this, he worked with the NYC Department of Sanitation’s curbside organics collection pilot program outreach team to inform New Yorkers on composting and recycling. In college, Kevin led the canvassing operations for the mayoral reelection campaign and worked with the Public Facilities department for the City of Bridgeport in drafting a Complete Streets proposal for the downtown area. He is currently pursuing a Masters in City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute and graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy.

 

 

NYC-EJA Fellowship

In partnership with Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment (GCPE), NYC-EJA recruits Pratt graduate students for a 2-semester, paid fellowship with our member organizations. Fellows have the opportunity to work directly with grassroots organizations, supporting community outreach, research and policy analysis.

At this time, the fellowship is only open to Pratt’s GCPE graduate students who can commit to working 1 day per week for 2 semesters.

For more information, email info@NYC-EJA.org