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

Danny Peralta
THE POINT CDC
South Bronx

David Shuffler
Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
South Bronx

Elizabeth C. Yeampierre
UPROSE
Southwest Brooklyn

Joan Levine
Morningside Heights/ West Harlem
Sanitation Coalition
Northern Manhattan

Julian Morales
GOLES
Lower East Side

Mark Winston Griffith
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.

Jalisa Gilmore | Research Analyst | jalisa@nyc-eja.org

Jalisa Gilmore is the Research Analyst at the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai—where her work included research on communicating environmental health information and study results to community-based research participants in East Harlem. In her prior work at ARCHIVE Global, she worked on housing and health issues in relation to sustainability. Jalisa has an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health with a certificate in Climate Change and Human Health. During her time at Columbia, she worked as a Program Coordinator for PrIMER, an undergraduate research program for college students underrepresented in the sciences. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Mailman School’s Biological and Environmental Determinants of Health course. Jalisa received her BS in Environmental Sciences with a Biology concentration from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Priya Mulgaonkar | Resiliency Planner | priya@nyc-eja.org

Priya Mulgaonkar is the Resiliency Planner for the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, where she leads on city and state-level climate justice advocacy and community resiliency campaigns, including NY Renews, Climate Works for All, and Grassroots Action for Green Infrastructure Equity. She previously served as a Campaign Organizer for Environment New York, and 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. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Urban Planning at Hunter College, researching the intersection between climate resiliency and gentrification in coastal cities.

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. 

Renae Reynolds | Transportation Planner | renae@nyc-eja.org

Renae Reynolds is the Transportation Planner for the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. Her prior work focused on urban greening as a response to natural disasters through research and program coordination with the New York City Urban Field Station. As coordinator of the Landscapes of Resilience project, she worked directly with social scientists, ecologists, land managers and community members who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy on the Rockaway peninsula. In 2016 Renae coordinated the Science of the Living City program, developing public education, engagement and exchange opportunities for a wide and interdisciplinary audience in the form of public events: seminars, workshops, film screenings, field tours, as well as fellowships, and residencies. Her work seeks to support strengthen capacities within vulnerable communities to increase resilience and agency in addressing critical issues that directly affect their quality of life in an increasingly urbanizing world. Renee received a BA in Sociology from Queens College and an MA in the Theories of Urban Practice, from Parsons New School for Design.

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