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Programs & Initiatives
Emerald Cities New York (EC New York) is hosted by and collaborates closely with the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI), a coalition of local community and labor organizations and leaders, anchor institutions and community-supportive business and finance entities. Using a model of economic democracy, BCDI organizes community leaders to leverage local assets and create shared wealth for Bronx residents. EC New York’s work with BCDI has set the stage for major investments in sustainability and green infrastructure in the borough.
EC New York and BCDI are currently working with BlocPower and the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition to implement two such programs. Building Power is bringing deep energy efficiency retrofits to faith-based institutions in the Northwest Bronx. The Bronx Healthy Buildings retrofit program addresses both asthma triggers and energy use and costs in privately owned multi-family housing in the northwest and central Bronx. Energy efficiency retrofits in such buildings are reducing property owners' energy consumption and costs while creating high-road green jobs and improving health outcomes for Bronx residents.
Anchors in Resilient Communities (ARC) was built on EC New York’s ongoing work with MIT CoLab and the Bronx Community Development Initiative (BCDI) to build economic democracy in the Bronx. It was also informed by the experience during and after 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, including the loss of power to 8.5 million customers due to the failure of the electric grid and the fact that public housing residents in the Bronx were among the last to regain power. As a result, the strategic focus of ARC in the Bronx is on strengthening the energy resilience of vulnerable, high-density South Bronx communities that are home to several public housing developments, Lebanon Hospital and the region’s food distribution center in Hunts Point. The ARC partners developed a plan to look at the energy sector as a way to rebuild the community by addressing energy use, climate resilience and the built environment. And in 2013, BCDI and Montefiore Hospital began discussing how the Affordable Care Act would change the way nonprofit hospitals such as Montefiore invest in communities and how Medicaid funds could address the upstream causes of poor health, rather than merely reimbursing emergency care.
In order to leverage energy investments for economic development, EC New York is implementing a full Economic Inclusion program and exploring opportunities for community ownership of energy resources. The Economic Inclusion program will support local and disadvantaged business enterprises as well as local hiring within the green construction sector. In addition, building off its strong relationships with community members, elected officials, anchor institutions and technical experts, EC New York is convening a series of cross-disciplinary conversations aimed at identifying opportunities and barriers to developing community-owned energy resources in the South Bronx.
Lastly, as New York State overhauls its energy delivery system via the Reforming the Vision (REV) initiative, EC New York is working to advance policies and leverage investments leading to local job- and wealth-creation. EC New York is a member of two statewide coalitions – the Energy Democracy Alliance and NY RENEWS – in order to ensure that new regulations and programs include meaningful community input, invest in low- to moderate-income communities and create job- and wealth-creation opportunities for communities of color and low-income New Yorkers.
Maggie Tishman: Local Director
2431 Morris Avenue
Bronx, NY 10468
Email: email@example.com | T 973 224-6851 Twitter: @EmeraldNYC
As the Local Director for Emerald Cities New York, Maggie works with members of the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative to plan, implement and document community energy projects that meet both environmental and economic justice goals. These projects include energy efficiency retrofits and clean energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate financial savings for local residents, promote community ownership, create green jobs for local residents and build a larger movement for community-centered energy systems. Previously, Maggie worked as a Robert A. Fox Leadership Fellow at Providence Community Housing in New Orleans. Maggie completed her Master’s degree in City Planning at MIT and a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.