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Mayor Adams Appoints 26 Members to Sustainability Advisory Board

December 8, 2022

Board Members Tasked with Advising on and Guiding Long-Term Sustainability and Resiliency Goals of NYC

New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the appointments of 26 board members to the New York City Sustainability Advisory Board to guide the city's long-term resiliency and sustainability goals. Board members will advise the city on a range of potential climate initiatives, including energy, transportation, waste management, and expanding New York City's green space, among other areas of importance.

"The Sustainability Advisory Board serves as a crucial thought partner to the city on climate change and will help make New York City a global leader in adaptation as we combat one of the greatest threats we face," said Mayor Adams. "I'm proud to announce the appointments of these distinguished civic leaders, drawn from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. This board will ensure that environmental justice is threaded into our climate policy and will help advance equity and public health for all New Yorkers."

"The hearts and minds of this talented group are both in the present and a decade ahead," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "And armed with this critical perspective, they are eager to get to work, all united by a common goal: To make New York City a greener, more equitable city. We are excited to have them on board."

"As we near the 15th anniversary of the city's first climate strategic plan, PlaNYC, we know much more than we did then and recognize that climate change is the work of generations," said New York City Chief Climate Officer and New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. "These board members will guide our work on the new plan, offering nation-leading ideas on how cities can adjust to a changing climate. These academics, private sector leaders, and advocates are long-time experts in their fields and valued partners in making a stronger, more resilient, and just city."

"Our advisory board members will be crucial allies as the city shapes its 2023 strategic plan on climate and works to meet its sustainability and resiliency goals going forward," said Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) Executive Director Kizzy Charles-Guzmán. "They are visionary, diligent, and creative leaders and partners who bring diverse perspectives and expertise to the complex work of climate change policy. I'm proud that so many have made environmental justice a central cause of their professional lives."

The board members will advise Chief Climate Officer and DEP Commissioner Aggarwala and MOCEJ Executive Director Charles-Guzmán on climate, sustainability, and resiliency goals for the city over the coming years. Most immediately, the board will help to guide the upcoming MOCEJ strategic climate plan, PlaNYC, to be released in April 2023.

The appointees represent a diverse array of arenas including environmental advocacy, environmental justice, planning, architecture, design, engineering, coastal protection, construction, critical infrastructure, labor, business, and academia. The advisory board also includes New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection Chair James Gennaro.

The 26 Sustainability Advisory Board members include:

  • Adrienne Adams, Speaker, New York City Council
  • James Gennaro, Chair, New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection
  • Donnel Baird, Founder and CEO, BlocPower
  • Amy Chester, Managing Director, Rebuild by Design
  • Peter Davidson, CEO, Aligned Climate Capital
  • Minelly De Coo, Deputy Director of Infrastructure, New York State Executive Chamber
  • Kate Fillin-Yeh, Director of Strategy, National Association of City Transportation Officials
  • Tonya Gayle, Executive Director, Green City Force
  • Eric A. Goldstein, New York City Environment Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Jasmine Graham, New York Senior Policy and Campaign Manager, Building Decarbonization Coalition
  • Chris Halfnight, Senior Director of Research and Policy, Urban Green Council
  • Shari C. Hyman, Vice President of Public Affairs, Turner Construction
  • Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  • Kyle Kimball, Vice President of Government, Regional and Community Affairs, Con Edison
  • Stacey Matlen, Vice President of Innovation, Partnership for New York City
  • Dina Rabiner, Vice President of Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
  • Damaris Reyes, Executive Director, Good Old Lower East Side
  • Dana Robbins Schneider, Director of Energy, Sustainability and ESG, Empire State Realty Trust
  • Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director, ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York
  • Kate Slevin, Executive Vice President, Regional Plan Association
  • Carter Strickland, Vice President of Mid-Atlantic Region and New York State Director, Trust for Public Land
  • Julie Tighe, President, New York League of Conservation Voters
  • Amy E. Turner, Senior Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School
  • Arif Ullah, Executive Director, South Bronx Unite
  • Claire Weisz, Founding Principal, WXY architecture + urban design
  • Cortney Koenig Worrall, President and CEO, Waterfront Alliance

These forward-thinking individuals will work together to address complex questions on climate change of the 21st century and beyond. The re-constitution of the Sustainability Advisory Board will help the city reach its climate goals and deepen its commitment to "Getting Stuff Done" for all New Yorkers.

"Mayor Adams is a transformational mayor, who is leading the nation on innovative urban policies, and I am proud to partner with his administration to drive creativity and bold, new ideas in the city's climate policy," said Donnel Baird, BlocPower.

"Without thoughtful planning and investments, climate change will exacerbate inequities and can uproot lives and livelihoods," said Amy Chester, Rebuild by Design. "The original 2007 PlaNYC left a vision for the next generation of how to mitigate carbon, improve our quality of life, and make room for an increased population. The challenge before us today is to ensure that we adapt to climate change equitably and leave no New Yorker behind."

"As the clean energy transition spreads across the country, I am honored to serve my hometown to make sure that New York leads the way," said Peter Davidson, Aligned Climate Capital. "I am committed to working with this board to craft a climate strategy that will ensure that we meet our long-term climate goals."

"As Governor Hochul often says, we are the first generation to experience the impacts of climate change — and the last generation able to do anything about it," said Minelly De Coo, New York State Executive Chamber. "I'm honored to help ensure that the city and state are working hand in hand to tackle the climate crisis and expand environmental justice and develop a plan that will set New York City on the path to achieve our shared long-term climate goals."

"New York City is a world climate leader — with so much more that we can do," said Kate Fillin-Yeh, National Association of City Transportation Officials. "New York City must reclaim its mantle as the city with the most transportation climate innovation. The city's bold pledge to build 300 miles of protected bike lanes and 150 miles of bus lanes will help more New Yorkers get where they need to go, safely, all while we work to meet the enormous climate challenges of our time."

"I am honored by and excited about the opportunity to partner with the Adams administration on the critical topics of climate and environmental justice," said Tonya Gayle, Green City Force. "I look forward to supporting New York City's priority of a just transition, under the leadership of MOCEJ Executive Director Kizzy Charles-Guzmán and Chief Climate Officer Rohit Aggarwala."

"I look forward to centering equity in the upcoming strategic climate plan, especially as it relates to building decarbonization," said Jasmine Graham, Building Decarbonization Coalition. "I am excited to continue the work required to reduce climate emissions, protect the safety and public health of residents, and build climate resiliency."

"New York City's climate planning sets the bar for cities across the country and beyond," said Christopher Halfnight, Urban Green Council. "I'm honored to join distinguished colleagues to support Mayor Adams and the MOCEJ staff's development of a next-generation climate plan to secure a healthy and resilient built environment for all New Yorkers."

"Securing a resilient and adaptable future for New York City is one of the most important efforts this administration can undertake," said Shari C. Hyman, Turner Construction. "I am eager to ensure that the city continues to lead the way in protecting New Yorkers from the effects of climate change."

"New York City has diverse neighborhoods that are dealing with a wide variety of environmental and climate crises," said Sonal Jessel, WE ACT for Environmental Justice. "And that is why the city is a leader in advancing climate and environmental justice. I look forward to helping create policies and programs that will prepare and protect communities and build a healthier New York."

"This is one of the most important challenges of our time and requires contributions from every sector," said Stacey Matlen, Partnership for New York City. "I hope to bring private-sector expertise and capacity to bolster the city's efforts."

"The work of the advisory board will help New York City lead the way for other cities by designing a more sustainable economy that creates jobs and economic development opportunities as we prepare for a clean energy future," said Dina Rabiner, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

"I am eager to work with my fellow appointees to represent and advocate for New Yorkers in frontline environmental justice neighborhoods like mine," said Damaris Reyes, Good Old Lower East Side. "New York City has an incredible opportunity to lead the way on climate action and climate justice."

"I look forward to sharing the expertise I have been privileged to gain in over 20 years in this field to drive continued partnership and effective policy, informed by successful practice, to deliver on Mayor Adams' vision for a net zero New York City," said Dana Robbins Schneider, Empire State Realty Trust. "We will prove the technical and economic case for decarbonization while we deliver a healthy and equitable built environment, innovation, and job creation for all New Yorkers."

"New York State's Climate Act is among the most ambitious climate laws in the world, and New York City will play a critical role to ensure our goals are met," said Maritza Silva-Farrell, ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York. "I am honored to receive Mayor Adams' appointment to the advisory board for the city's strategic climate plan and look forward to ensuring our city leads the way on climate action."

"Since New York City created its first long-term climate plan in 2007, I have been a strong advocate of a forward-thinking vision that also improves equity, mobility, and sustainability in the near and now," said Kate Slevin, Regional Plan Association. "I will work to ensure all New Yorkers live healthier and better lives without having to rely on a car to get around."

"New York City has shown that realistic, implementable climate plans make our city cleaner, greener, healthier, and more resilient," said Carter Strickland, Trust for Public Land. "I am honored to help refine policies and programs that will make the city even more carbon-efficient and able to meet continuing, increasing threats from floods and heat."

"The existential threat of climate change requires not only planning but also concrete action to get stuff done to protect our neighbors and our communities," said Julie Tighe, New York League of Conservation Voters. "I look forward to working alongside such an esteemed group of experts. The work we do here will ensure a more resilient, more sustainable, and more environmentally equitable New York City for years to come."

"New York City has some of the most ambitious and equitable climate policy in the country," said Amy Turner, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School. "I am thrilled to be working with this distinguished group and committed to New York City's resilient, equitable, and low-greenhouse gas future."

"I look forward to centering equity and justice, as well as the experiences of communities on the frontlines of climate change as I help develop the city's next long-term climate strategy," said Arif Ullah, South Bronx Unite.

"Climate action is a critical path across all five boroughs of New York City and integral to the design of all of our places and spaces," said Claire Weisz, WXY architecture + urban design.

"I am excited to contribute to the future of the built environment alongside MOCEJ, Mayor Adams, and my fellow board members, who are making equitable and resilient infrastructure a model for New York City and the region."

"When transformational decisions about the future of New York City are challenged and complicated by our climate future, it is an honor to be included as an appointee," said Cortney Koenig Worrall, Waterfront Alliance. "I look forward to working with the mayor and the city to chart a path toward a robust and resilient future for all New Yorkers."

Learn more about the Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice.

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